Michigan pummels Panthers in Legends Classic


AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Pittsburgh’s Blake Hinson (2) drives past Michigan’s Terrance Williams II (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Legend Classic on Wednesday in New York.

By Jermaine Sykes, Staff Writer

The Panthers traveled to the Barclays Center in New York to compete in the Legends Classic on Wednesday night. The Panthers took on No. 20 Michigan in their first game. Despite a close game to start, the Wolverines laid it on the Panthers in the second half, winning 91-60.

This is the second game in a row where the Panthers kept it close in the first half before completely falling apart in the second half. 

Junior forward John Hugley, who led the Panthers in points and rebounds last season, made his season debut. But Hugley had a quiet game coming back from a knee injury, scoring just nine points with one rebound. 

The Panthers started off hot, jumping out to an 8-2 lead after two quick three-pointers from Hugley and graduate student guard Greg Elliott. 

The Panthers maintained their only lead of the game until the 11:17 mark in the first half, when Michigan junior center Hunter Dickinson converted a layup for the Wolverines to go up 18-17.

The Panthers just couldn’t find a reliable scorer in the first half against the Wolverines. Sophomore center Federiko Federiko saw his minutes diminish due to Hugley’s return. Junior forward Blake Hinson — who was the leading scorer for the Panthers in their win against UT Martin — shot just 2-6 in 17 minutes in the first.

All in all, the Panthers shot just 11-26 in the first half against the Wolverines. Their shooting didn’t improve in the second half.

It was a tale of two halves for the Wolverines behind the arc. After going 2-11 from three in the first, the Wolverines made a high percentage of shots from beyond the arc in the second half. The Wolverines’ first three buckets in the second half were all three-pointers, increasing their lead to 11 at the 17:19 mark of the second half.

Michigan’s 7-9 from three in the second half was too much for the Panthers, who scored just 22 points in the second half. 

Hinson led the Panthers in scoring in the second with eight points, but scoring was rare for the Panthers in the second half. Graduate student guards Jamarius Burton and Nelly Cummings couldn’t command the offense the way many fans expected them. 

Burton led the Panthers with 14 points, but his two assists weren’t enough to pull them out of their rut. 

Surrendering 58 points in the second half hindered the Panthers, as they put themselves in a hole they couldn’t get out of.

After wrapping up the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, Pitt will return home to take on the Alabama State Hornets. The game with the Hornets will tip off at 2 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center and will air on ACC Network Extra.