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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

Panthers overcome adversity, defeat Florida Gulf Coast 86-74 to move to 3-0 on the season

Senior+forward+Blake+Hinson+%282%29+reaches+for+the+ball+during+Monday+night%E2%80%99s+game+against+Florida+Gulf+Coast+at+the+Petersen+Events+Center.+
Kaylee Uribe | Staff Photographer
Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) reaches for the ball during Monday night’s game against Florida Gulf Coast at the Petersen Events Center.

After scoring in the triple digits in their first two games of the season, Pitt men’s basketball (3-0, 0-0 ACC) overcame a sloppy start to defeat Florida Gulf Coast (1-2, 0-0 ASun) 86-74. In a game where the Panthers shot 56.3 percent from the free throw line, their backcourt carried the load to give the Panthers their third win of the season.

ACC rookie of the week Carlton “Bub” Carrington led all scorers with 19 points and added seven assists to go with it. The first-year guard continues the fiery start to his Panthers career.

Florida Gulf Coast head coach Pat Chambers spoke highly of the young guard. 

“Carrington, I watched him on film,” Chambers said. “I knew about him in high school. He’s a big-time player. A big-time player.” 

The Panthers started the first half with clinical offense, spearheaded by senior forward Blake Hinson. Hinson got the scoring started for the Panthers with a quick layup. He followed this up with a three-pointer and another turnaround jumper for a quick seven points less than five minutes into the game.

Carrington followed this up with a quick four points of his own, converting two layups and nailing a turnaround jump shot.

But the Panthers started 3-for-6 from the free-throw line, which allowed the Eagles to keep up with the Panthers’ scoring start. Despite a hot start, the Panthers led by just two points with 11:45 remaining in the first half.

The inefficiency at the free throw line continued to haunt the Panthers. Redshirt junior forward Zack Austin was fouled on a layup attempt and missed one of two free throws which would have put the Panthers up by six points. 

On the following possession, Austin was fouled once again, and once again he went 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. 

Despite a size disadvantage, the Eagles dominated the paint. The Eagles scored 20 points in the paint in the first half. A layup by Eagles’ senior guard Chase Johnson brought the Panthers lead down to 25-24 with 8:36 remaining in the first half. 

After a quick back and forth, two sloppy turnovers from the Panthers gave the Eagles an opportunity to tie the game. And they capitalized, with another paint layup locking the game at 30 a piece.

More missed free throws hurt the Panthers’ ability to take a large lead. Sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham missed two free throws that would have extended the Panthers’ lead to five.

But clutch defense and five points from Jaland Lowe sparked a 15-5 run for the Panthers. Which gave them a 45-35 lead heading into the half.

Lowe’s 10 points in the first half nearly doubled the scoring production he had in his first two career games combined. Panthers head coach Jeff Capel was proud of Lowe’s ability to recover from a rocky first two games.

“I thought Lowe was unbelievable,” Capel said. “It’s great to see him continue to trust his shots and trust his instincts … I said it before, he was playing well before but the shots just weren’t falling.”

Out of the locker room, redshirt sophomore Ishmael Leggett came out energized. Leggett converted an and-one layup and then found Austin and junior center Federiko Federiko on two alley-oops. 

Kaylee Uribe | Staff Photographer

But still, the Eagles answered and kept themselves in the game. The second half started locked at 9-9, with the Panthers now leading 54-44.

After an Eagles layup, Austin knocked down his first three-pointer of the season off of a pass from Carrington. The Eagles answered with a three-pointer of their own to bring the game to a score of 57-49.

With the score now 59-52, the Panthers’ struggles at the free throw line returned. Hinson missed two free throws. But the first-year guards made up for him. A layup from Lowe and a three-pointer from Carrington gave the Panthers a 64-52 lead, their largest lead of the night up to this point.

After an Eagles basket and free throw, Hinson fought through his rut by nailing a three-pointer to take the Panthers’ lead back to 12. Hinson converted a layup on the following possession which gave the Panthers a 13-point lead.

The Panthers extended their lead to 15 after a Leggett steal and dunk that fired up the crowd inside the Petersen Events Center. Leggett finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Eagles kept fighting, though, going on a 7-0 run which brought them within nine points. But another Hinson three-pointer ended this run and extended the Panthers’ lead to 11.

The Eagles followed up the Hinson three-pointer with a 6-0 run to bring the game within five with under four minutes remaining. 

Trailing by five, the Eagles intentionally fouled Federiko, who was 0-for-2 from the free throw line prior to this. Federiko knocked down one of the two free throws to extend the Panthers’ lead to six. 

A Leggett layup, a Hinson steal and a Federiko dunk gave the Panthers a 10-point lead with 2:25 left in the game.

Despite the Eagles scratching and clawing their way back into the game, three clutch offensive rebounds from Federiko made the Panthers’ lead insurmountable. On the final offensive rebound, Federiko found Carrington, who was sitting just above the half-court logo.

The first-year guard nailed a logo three-pointer, which extended the Panthers’ lead to 86-74 and sealed the deal on the contest. 

The win makes the Panthers 3-0 on the season. Redshirt junior forward Will Jeffress thinks this team has high potential if they can keep the momentum rolling. 

“I feel like we’ve had momentum rolling in from last year,” Jeffress said. “Momentum is one of the most powerful forces that [a team] can have.” 

The Panthers will hope to use the momentum from their first three victories on Friday at 7 p.m. against Jacksonville. With a win in front of their home crowd, the Panthers would move to 4-0, their best start to a season since 2018-19.

About the Contributor
Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor
Jermaine Sykes is the Assistant Sports Editor for The Pitt News. He is a part of the College of Business and Administration class of 2024 and is double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. He is also pursuing a Sports Management certificate and an Economics minor. He has written over 90 articles as a member of the sports staff.