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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

Pitt men’s basketball continues dominant start, defeats Binghamton 89-60

Sophomore+forward+Guillermo+Diaz+Graham+%2825%29+dunks+the+ball+during+Friday+nights+game+against+Binghamton+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer
Sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) dunks the ball during Friday night’s game against Binghamton in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt men’s basketball capped off a heart-warming military appreciation night with an 89-60 win over Binghamton to give head coach Jeff Capel his second win of the season.

Senior forward Blake Hinson led the Panthers in scoring with 26 points in 24 minutes. Junior guard Ishmael Leggett finished with a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. First-year guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington scored 18 points as well. 

Carrington started the Panthers’ attack confidently, using a screen twice and then finding space for a jumper on the elbow. Carrington has effectively operated the Pitt offense — something the Panthers have needed in past seasons.

“Bub just turned 18,” said Capel. “But [Bub] grew up in a gym where he was around NBA guys, pros, a lot. He’s a good player, so I’m not surprised by it.”

The Panthers were dominant on the boards early, registering four offensive rebounds in one possession. The Pitt starting five recorded nine rebounds in the first 4:30 minutes of play, but the Panthers couldn’t capitalize on the second chance points, with the score sitting at only 5-3. 

The Panthers as a unit struggled offensively for the first few minutes, missing several slightly contested lay-ups. Leggett was the spark the Panthers needed with his intensity on both sides of the ball, registering four steals and taking away countless passing lanes. Leggett led the Panthers in first-half scoring with 14 points.

“I think we’re very lethal in transition,” said Leggett. “As soon as we get it out, get it in the guard’s hands and it’s off to the races.”

Binghamton struggled early on as well. The Bearcats were one-for-eight from the field with 12:00 left in the first half, until graduate student guard Symir Torrence made his second three-pointer of the night to cut the deficit to 12-8. Torrence scored all eight points for the Bearcats.

Binghamton found itself in foul trouble early on. The Bearcats committed eight fouls in the first nine minutes, putting Pitt in the bonus for the remainder of the half. 

Hinson, one of the most productive players in the ACC last year, started the game 0-4 from beyond the arc. Hinson, as well as the rest of the Panthers, couldn’t find the bottom of the net.

Carrington ended the streak of misses for the Panthers with a step-back three-pointer to extend Pitt’s lead to 16-10 with 10:04 remaining in the first, igniting the Oakland Zoo.

Over the next four minutes, the Panthers extended their lead. A key reason for this lead extension was Hinson finding his touch. The junior forward cashed in two three-pointers and a turnaround layup, extending Pitt’s lead to 30-18 with 5:51 to play in the first half. 

Pitt junior center Federiko Federiko made his presence on the inside known early, registering three blocks in the first 14 minutes of play. Leggett found Federiko with a nice drop-off pass to give Federiko a posterizing dunk with 4:54 remaining in the first half.

The Bearcats found some success pulling the Panthers’ center out of the paint after first-year forward Gavin Walsh made two three-pointers. Walsh then passed to back-door cutters open in the paint.

“The kid, Walsh, came in and made a couple,” Capel said. “Torrence made a couple. That’s on me because that was a little bit of our game plan to kind of back off.” 

At one point, the Panthers led 38-25, but the Bearcats finished the half on a 7-2 run. This sent the teams into the locker room with the Panthers leading at 40-32.

As soon as play resumed, Hinson made a catch-and-shoot three-pointer while falling out of bounds to give Pitt a 43-32 lead. Hinson followed the basket up by getting fouled on a three-point attempt and lacing another three-pointer 30 seconds later. Hinson scored 14 points in the second half with 15:22 remaining. 

“I don’t honestly remember being cold,” Hinson said. “It’s the same feeling the whole time. Just run the offense, shoot our shots, and that’s all we know.”

The Panthers defense complimented their momentum on offense. Redshirt junior forward Zach Austin recorded two blocks in one possession, as well as Federiko getting his third block of the game.

“We didn’t end the [first] half well,” Capel said. “But I was really, really proud of how we started the second half.”

Carrington continued to find his shot as well, making back-to-back three-pointers and then used that threat of another to make a tough and-one from mid-range. The first-year guard was issued a warning from the referees for celebrating, which was almost his second technical foul. 

Despite scoring nine straight points and extending Pitt’s lead to 70-44 with 12:11 left, Capel pulled Carrington from the game to give him some words of advice. 

Pitt’s defense made its 27-point lead with 5:35 remaining in the game seem insurmountable. Binghamton shot 46.2% from three in the first half, and only 16.7% in the second half.

As a team, the Panthers shot 7-15 from three-point land in the second half. Sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham made consecutive three-pointers to give him 12 points on the night. 

The Panthers ultimately walked away with the 89-60 victory. Pitt plays next against Florida Gulf Coast at home at 7:00 pm on Monday, Nov. 13th.

About the Contributor
Conor Hutchison, Staff Writer