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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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A portrait of Chancellor Joan Gabel.
Senate Council holds final meeting of semester, recaps recent events
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • May 14, 2024
Column | A thank you to student journalists
By Betul Tuncer, Editor-in-Chief • April 27, 2024

Pitt men’s basketball handles Georgia Tech 72-64

Pittsburgh+center+Federiko+Federiko+blocks+a+shot+by+Georgia+Tech+forward+Javon+Franklin+during+the+first+half+of+an+NCAA+college+basketball+game+at+the+Atlantic+Coast+Conference+Tournament+on+Wednesday%2C+March+8%2C+2023%2C+in+Greensboro%2C+N.C.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Pittsburgh center Federiko Federiko blocks a shot by Georgia Tech forward Javon Franklin during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C.

Coming off a headline-grabbing upset win over the No. 7 ranked Duke, unranked Pitt men’s basketball sought to stay on top of the world with a trip to Atlanta to face the ACC rival Georgia Tech. 

These two teams have faced off against each other 15 total times in their respective histories, with Pitt leading the all-time record by a game. 

Georgia Tech looked to tie the series while defending homecourt as Pitt played to gain the second win of their road trip. But the Panthers pounced on the Yellow Jackets and defeated them 72-64.

Georgia Tech struck first with a three-pointer to open the game. From there Pitt answered and the teams went back and forth, trading buckets throughout the top of the first half. 

Throughout this period, the Panthers benefited from senior forward Blake Hinson getting to the basket for easy layups. Good teamwork and shooting from the Yellow Jackets kept the contest close. 

Junior forward Zach Austin showcased his athleticism with back-to-back dunks, one coming off a lob for an alley-oop. This play sparked some inspiration from the Panthers as Hinson connected with junior center Federiko Federiko shortly after for a lob of their own. 

Still, a back-and-forth game ensued, with both teams trading successful defensive possessions and chipping away at the other on the offensive side of the ball.

Strong defense led to Pitt turnovers and baskets for the Yellow Jackets. The Panthers turned the ball over eight times during the first half. 

Georgia Tech senior guard Kyle Sturdivant and first-year guard Naithan George helped keep the contest close. Each put up 10 points and 7 assists respectively to bolster the Jackets in the first half.

Late into the first half, both teams went dry around the basket until first-year guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington hit a three in the midst of a defender out of a timeout to give Pitt a 6-point lead with just over a minute to go in the first. 

But Georgia Tech got the last laugh in the half, with Sturdivant finding the bottom of the net on a mid-range jumper to finish the period. 

Pitt went into the locker room up 31-27. Carrington led the Panthers with 11 points and Hinson poured in nine of his own.

The start of the second half was all Georgia Tech as an easy four points from first-year forward Baye Ndongo, followed by a Yellow Jacket three gave Tech a hot 7-0 run. 

After two Pitt turnovers and a timeout from head coach Jeff Capel, the Panthers got back on the board by means of a bucket from first-year guard Jaland Lowe. 

The two teams continued to battle while Georgia Tech gained their largest lead of the night of five points. 

Pitt’s sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham went head to head with Georgia Tech’s Ndongo as the two led most of the action early in the last period. 

Both teams rode the seesaw in what was a back-and-forth second half. Each team rarely held a lead for a substantial amount of time and as the waning minutes ticked off of the clock each opponent fought to run away with the game. 

Junior guard Jowacie Reeves Jr. put up 15 in the game including a momentum-shifting slam-dunk that brought the Yellow Jacket bench out of their seats. 

Yet again, though, the Panthers answered back with a Diaz Graham three-pointer and an and-one finish from Lowe.  

Neither team refused to go away nor back down. Ndongo, who finished with 17, caught a lob pass to bring the game close. But after a Lowe layup and a pair of foul shots from junior guard Ishmael Leggett, the Panthers took a nine-point lead with just under 5 minutes to play. 

First-half hero Sturdivant brought the game within two possessions with four quick points of his own. He finished the contest with a total of 14. 

In the final minutes, the two teams drilled two three-pointers a piece, trading buckets and shifting the momentum back and forth while time dripped away. 

Finally, with Pitt up 67-61 with 1:56 to play, Carrington knocked down a huge set of foul shots from the charity stripe to ice the game for Pitt. Carrington led the game in scoring with 19 on the night. 

The teams traded free throws with the Panthers ultimately extending their road winning streak and leaving Atlanta with a win. 

The Panthers will end their away stretch on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. at Miami. Fans can catch the game on the ACC Network. 

About the Contributor
Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer
Aidan Kasner is a first-year student studying Media and Professional Communications.