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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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9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
By Aidan Kasner, Senior Staff Writer • 7:31 pm

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9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
9-year-old boy who caught McCutchen’s 300th HR reveals significant milestones of his own
By Aidan Kasner, Senior Staff Writer • 7:31 pm

Pitt men’s basketball rebounds, defeats Virginia Tech

Senior+forward+Blake+Hinson+%282%29+drives+to+the+basket+during+Saturday+evening%E2%80%99s+game+against+Virginia+Tech+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Liam Sullivan | Staff Photographer
Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) drives to the basket during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.

After a loss to Wake Forest last Tuesday night, Pitt men’s basketball (18-9, 9-7 ACC) looked to get back on track against Virginia Tech (15-12, 7-9 ACC). With NCAA tournament hopes, the Panthers knew they couldn’t afford a loss. 

The first half that saw them tied 36-36 with the Hokies, but Pitt dominated Virginia Tech in the second half for their ninth ACC win of the season. 

Senior forward Blake Hinson led the Panthers with 22 points and first-year guard Jaland Lowe scored 18. Redshirt junior forward Zack Austin stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.

Virginia Tech’s head coach Mike Young commended Austin for his defensive efforts. 

“He’s a lot bigger than I thought he was,” Young said. “Austin’s a good basketball player, he’s disruptive with his length and he’s got very active hands.”

Hinson — who failed to score for the first 14:01 last game — got the Panthers on the board first with an emphatic dunk. Hinson followed this up two possessions later with a three-pointer from the halfcourt logo to put the Panthers out to a 7-0 run.

After jumping out to the 7-0 run, the Panthers failed to score for 5:09, allowing the Hokies to take an 8-7 lead. 

After the dry spell from Pitt’s offense, a 15-8 run from the Panthers led by Hinson and Austin gave them a 22-16 lead.

Austin was all over the court in the first half, finishing with five points, seven rebounds and three blocks. 

To Austin, his performance wasn’t surprising to him.

“I was just playing defense,” Austin said. “And playing off of others. It wasn’t anything special.”

His teammate Lowe disagreed.

“No,” Lowe said. “It was special.”

Pitt and Virginia Tech went back and forth following the Panthers’ run, with Pitt retaining a 31-29 lead with 2:20 remaining in the first half.

The Hokies failed to convert a three-pointer on their first five attempts in the first half. The Hokies’ first successful three-pointer of the game came from junior guard Sean Pedulla with 54 seconds left to tie the game at 34-34. Pedulla finished with 26 points.

After two free throws from both teams, the Panthers and Hokies went into halftime tied at 36. 

First-year guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington found himself in foul trouble, which kept him on the bench for long stretches of the first half. Carrington finished the half without a point and one assist. 

The Panthers and Hokies went back and forth to open the second half, with Pitt edging out to a 44-42 lead. Carrington’s backcourt counterpart, Lowe opened the first half strong with four quick points. 

Carrington scored his first basket of the game on a fastbreak layup, but landed awkwardly on his leg and had to come out of the game. Carrington went into the locker room for a minute, before coming back in and hitting a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 53-42 lead. Carrington’s five points helped Pitt get out to a 13-0 run.

The Panthers’ run extended to 18-0 after a mid-range basket from Lowe and a three-pointer from sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham. The Panthers led 58-44.

An 8-0 run and a two-minute scoring drought from the Panthers brought their lead down to 10. But a three-pointer from junior guard Ishmael Leggett extended the Panthers’ lead to 67-54. 

An 8-0 run from the Panthers extended their lead to 18, their largest lead of the night.

The Panthers pushed their lead to 20 after a Hinson three-pointer, causing a Virginia Tech timeout with 3:17 remaining. The Hokies attempted a comeback, but the Panthers held them off.

Pitt’s head coach Jeff Capel likes his team’s maturity down the stretch of the season. 

“This team is learning,” Capel said. “We’re growing, we’re getting better, we learn from every situation and I’m proud of the maturity we showed in practice, and that led to us playing well today.”

The Panthers return to action Tuesday on the road against Clemson in a pivotal ACC matchup. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

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.