Seminoles smother Panthers, 88-75


First-year guard Shamiel Stevenson scored 17 points during Pitt’s 88-75 loss to Florida State Sunday. (Photo by Anas Dighriri | Staff Photographer)

By Michael Nitti | Staff Writer

For the fifth straight time this season, the Pitt men’s basketball set a school record — this time after an 88-75 road loss to Florida State on Sunday — extending the team’s record losing streak to 15.

This time, the Panthers (8-20 overall, 0-15 ACC) kept it close — leading the Seminoles (19-8 overall, 8-7 ACC) for much of the first half and leading by one at halftime, and trailing close for most of the second half.

But, as the Panthers have done in past games, they lost their grip — slipping away at the end of the second half to hand over the victory once again.

Florida State started the game off hot, hitting two quick 3-pointers to take a 6-0 lead. The Panthers answered, taking a 14-7 lead at the 12:38 mark. It was a back-and-forth first half, with seven lead changes and three ties.

First-year guard Marcus Carr closed out the half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Pitt a slim 39-38 advantage Carr concluded the half with three points, three assists and three rebounds.

The Panthers were 10-for-17 from beyond the arc in the first half and 14-for-28 overall. Florida State was held to just nine buckets on 19 shots, but got to the line 23 times, converting 16 of those attempts.

Every player for Pitt was called for at least one foul during the first half, amassing to a total of 16 fouls to Florida State’s six. First-year guard Shamiel Stevenson was the only player to get to the line for the Panthers, making one of his two attempts.

Florida State junior guard PJ Savoy and Pitt first-year guard Parker Stewart each led their clubs with 12 points in the first half.

Junior guard Terance Mann and senior guard Braian Angola, who were both benched in the first half for disciplinary reasons, returned in the second half for the Seminoles. Leading the team with 14.4 points per game, Mann managed just four points in the second half, but also contributed with three assists and two rebounds.

Florida State controlled the pace of the game for much of the second half, taking a 58-48 lead with 12:30 left in the contest. But the Panthers didn’t go down easy, clawing back to tie the game at 65 after going on a 17-7 run.

With 2:10 remaining, Pitt was within seven points, but ultimately could not close the gap, as Florida State scored seven unanswered points to win the game 88-75.

Once again, it was a tale of two halves for this Panthers team, as they shot just 2-for-6 from behind the arc in the second half. On the defensive end, no one could stop Florida State senior forward Phil Cofer, who dropped 14 points in the second half after being held scoreless in the first.

Despite shooting 50 percent from the field and 52 percent from deep, the Panthers’ foul trouble and underwhelming free-throw shooting cost them the game. Florida State shot 55 percent overall and just 37 percent from beyond the arc, but they were able to go 29-for-40 at the line.

The Panthers committed 31 fouls throughout the course of the game, as Carr, junior guard Jared Wilson-Frame and first-year forward Terrell Brown all fouled out. Wilson-Frame finished with 17 points and four assists.

Pitt will look to put their losing streak to an end as they welcome in Wake Forest this Wednesday, Feb. 21. Tip-off is at 9 p.m.