In the last game of it three-game road trip, the Pitt men’s basketball team once again suffered a blowout loss to an in-conference opponent. No. 16 Clemson beat Pitt, 72-48, and brought the team’s already-historic losing streak to 12 games.
After shooting 39 percent from the field and coughing up 16 turnovers in a blowout loss to North Carolina earlier in the week, Pitt (8-17 overall, 0-12 ACC) practically duplicated that performance Thursday night. The Panthers shot the same percentage from the field and committed 15 turnovers, while also allowing the Tigers (20-4 overall, 9-3 ACC) to knock down 12 3-pointers at a blistering 44 percent rate.
The Panthers found themselves with an early lead after first-year center Terrell Brown knocked down a 3-pointer — his first of the season — to give Pitt a 5-2 advantage.
The momentum was short-lived, as Clemson quickly mounted a 10-0 run to take the lead back. The Panthers shot poorly during Clemson’s run, converting just two of their first nine field goals during the opening five minutes.
Pitt struggled to create open looks on offense, with several possessions ending either in a turnover or a contested jumper at the end of the shot clock. With six minutes left in the first half, the Panthers trailed 23-12 and had two more turnovers than made baskets.
There was one bright spot in an otherwise woeful first half for Pitt — Brown. After averaging 3.7 points per game on the season, the center erupted for 13 of the Panthers’ 22 first-half points.
He also led the team at the break in rebounds with six and kept the Panther deficit to just 10 points, 32-22, entering the second half.
That was the closest the game would be for the rest of the night.
The Tigers exploded in the second half, knocking down their first six 3-pointers while the Panthers committed four turnovers. By the time head coach Kevin Stallings called a second timeout, Pitt trailed 56-28 with 14 minutes left to play.
Clemson senior guard Gabe DeVoe — the reigning ACC player of the week — led the onslaught for the Tigers, nailing all three of his 3-point attempts in the first five minutes of the half.
At that point, the Tigers could relax — the Panthers would not even reach 50 points on the night.
With the rest of the contest relegated to essentially junk time, Pitt did its best to keep the score as close as possible. The Panthers outscored their opponent 20-16 over the last 14 minutes, but the final score, 72-48, showed a bleak outcome for the struggling Pitt team.
Brown led the Panthers in points with 19 and rebounds with eight — both career highs for the first-year center. Meanwhile, no other Pitt player managed to crack double digits.
The Panthers’ next chance to break the losing streak will come Sunday, Feb. 11, against Louisville at the Petersen Events Center. In the last matchup between the two teams — which Pitt lost, 77-51— Stallings made headlines for some controversial comments he made to opposing fans.