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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

Mizzou beat the Zoo | The Panthers fall to Missouri 71-64

First-year+guard+Carlton+Carrington+%287%29+dribbles+during+Tuesday+night%E2%80%99s+game+against+Missouri+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Liam Sullivan | Staff Photographer
First-year guard Carlton Carrington (7) dribbles during Tuesday night’s game against Missouri in the Petersen Events Center.

Coming off of a Thanksgiving break that saw the team go 1-1, Pitt men’s basketball (5-2, 0-0 ACC) fell to visiting Missouri (6-2, 0-0 SEC) 71-64. 

Senior forward Blake Hinson led all scorers with 22 points and added five rebounds to go with it. Despite 1-for-8 shooting from the field, redshirt sophomore guard Ishmael Leggett added 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Pitt’s offense got out to a slow start, with just one make on five shots through the first 6:37 of the game. Hinson ignited their offense with a three-pointer followed by a first-year guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington mid-range jumper. 

Carrington, a two-time ACC Freshman of the Week winner, uncharacteristically struggled against the Tigers. The Tigers held Carrington to 4-for-14 shooting. Tigers’ graduate student guard Sean East II wanted to pressure the young guard.

“We wanted to pressure them,” East said. “We watched the film that showed us that they struggle with pressure.”

Sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham added to the scoring burst with an and-one layup which gave the Panthers a one-point lead with 11:25 remaining in the first half. 

But the Missouri quickly answered. Despite a height disadvantage, the Tigers out-hustled the Panthers in the first half and grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the first half that led to six second-chance points. Pitt head coach Jeff Capel didn’t expect Missouri to out-rebound the Panthers.

“I didn’t expect to be out-rebounded,” Capel said. “But I knew they would play hard.”

Both teams’ offenses stalled after this. From the 10:25 mark to the 7:30 mark of the first half, neither team converted a field goal. But the Panthers got to the foul line and made their free throws, giving them an 8-0 run and a 6-point lead.

Missouri ended the scoring drought with two quick baskets to cut the Panthers’ lead to two. Hinson answered with another three-pointer to give the Panthers a 26-21 lead.

Redshirt junior forward Zack Austin — despite shooting 33 percent from three-point land last season — struggled shooting the three to start the season. 

But Austin found his rhythm and drained a three to give the Panthers a six-point lead. But again the Tigers answered with five quick points to bring the game within one point. 

A back-and-forth ensued afterward, with a Tigers’ three-pointer tying the game at 33. Three-pointers were a strength for the Tigers in the first half, shooting 6-for-13. 

Two free throws from junior guard Tamar Bates gave the Tigers a 35-33 lead with 1:12 remaining in the first half. Bates — in his first career start — and East led the Tigers with 10 points each in the first half.

Carrington quickly responded with another mid-range jump shot, but another three-pointer from East gave the Tigers a 38-35 lead going into halftime. 

The Panthers’ offense continued to struggle to start the second half. They started 0-for-4 before a Carrington three-pointer cut the Tigers’ lead to 2.

This three-pointer sparked the Panthers’ offense. Austin nearly posterized a Missouri player but was fouled on the play. Austin nailed both free throws, tying the game at 42. The Panthers regained the lead on a Hinson dunk that lit up the Oakland Zoo. 

An and-one layup allowed the Tigers to regain the lead. The and-one led to an 8-0 Tigers run, causing a timeout from the Panthers. 

Out of the timeout, the Panthers went on a 5-2 run capitalized by another Hinson three-pointer. This caused a Tigers timeout that they quickly capitalized on, nailing a three-pointer to bring their lead back to six.

The Panthers struggled to get back into the game due to inconsistent offense and sloppy defense. The Tigers extended their lead to seven.

The Panthers’ offense stalled at an inopportune time as they failed to convert a field goal from the 11:54 mark to the 2:51 mark of the second half. During this drought, the Tigers nailed a three-pointer to extend their lead to 10 with 5:40 remaining. 

A Hinson three-pointer started the drought, and a Hinson three-pointer ended the drought and electrified the Oakland Zoo again. Another Hinson three-pointer — his fifth of the night — almost blew the roof off the Petersen Events Center and cut the Tigers’ lead to two.

While Hinson excelled at the three-point line, he struggled from the free-throw line. The senior forward failed to capitalize on his free throw opportunities — shooting 2-for-4 down the stretch — which allowed the Tigers to maintain their four-point lead.

The Tigers extended their lead to seven and maintained it to win 71-64. 

The Panthers open up ACC play on Sunday against Clemson. The Panthers believe they will rebound from this loss.

“I anticipate us playing well on Sunday,” Capel said.

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 75 articles as a member of the sports staff.