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Ish Leggett Dominates Wake Forest in Career-Best Game in a Pitt Uniform

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WASHINGTON – Ishmael Leggett was the ultimate X factor. 

The ACC 6th Man of the Year didn’t just play up to his crown in the conference semifinals against Wake Forest; he exceeded it. And then some. On a day No. 4 seed Pitt needed him more than ever, Leggett answered the call. 

In practically a win or be eliminated from NCAA Tournament discussion game, Leggett delivered his best game in a Panther uniform. 

Leggett scored a game-high 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and shot 11-18 from the floor. He also grabbed four offensive rebounds and five steals. Both were game highs. 

Leggett paced the Panthers with 11 points in the first half to lead all scorers. He shot 5-8 from the floor, including a triple, in 17 minutes of action. What was equally as impressive, if not more, was his effort on defense. 

The junior guard recorded four steals in the first 20 minutes. Everyone else combined on both sides had half the total. Leggett grabbed two rebounds and was a +10 on the floor to help Pitt take a 48-26 lead to the locker room.

Leggett was constantly playing with energy and diving on the floor for loose balls, helping Pitt force 15 total turnovers. 

Pitt built its lead to as much as 19 (55-36) in the second half. Fighting for their lives to make the NCAA Tournament, Wake Forest cut the deficit to a one-possession game. 

With only six minutes remaining and Pitt clinging to a five-point lead, Leggett drove to the basket, kept his pivot foot, and scored on the right block. He did it again on the very next possession for a falling away and-one, but was ruled a foul on the floor. Leggett made both free throws to put Pitt back ahead six (65-59). 

Leggett wouldn’t be denied. Now a three-point lead, Leggett followed a Lowe miss with a contested layup to put Pitt up two scores. Wake Forest continued to find solutions, but Leggett had the answer key.

A second and-one was waved off for Leggett inside three minutes, but the poised veteran stepped to the line and hit two more.

Leggett’s previous career high a Pitt was 22 points against? Wake Forest on Jan. 31. 

The Panthers play No. 1 North Carolina Friday at 7 p.m. in the ACC Semifinals.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Eli
Eli
2 months ago

He picked a good time for it.

Agent Zero
Agent Zero
2 months ago

Total beast!!!What a game by Ish..Totally unselfish player to accept a sixth man role..Congrats to him and much.respect to him.Not many guys would accept that role.They would want to transfer in two seconds

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