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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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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

Pitt men’s basketball falls to Clemson in crucial game

Sophomore+forward+Guillermo+Diaz+Graham+%2825%29+shoots+a+layup+during+Saturday+evening%E2%80%99s+game+against+Virginia+Tech+in+the+Petersen+Events+Center.
Liam Sullivan | Staff Photographer
Sophomore forward Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) shoots a layup during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt men’s basketball fell to Clemson 69-62 on Tuesday night in a game that they absolutely had to win in order to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Pitt First-year guard Carlton “Bub” Carrington led all scorers with 18 points. Junior guard Ishmael Leggett wasn’t too far behind, providing 15 points for the Panthers. 

Senior guard Chase Hunter, graduate student guard Joseph Girard and junior forward Ian Schieffelin all led Clemson in scoring, with each providing 15 points.   

The Panthers looked dominant to start the game and had the lead for the entirety of the first half against the Tigers. But the dominance didn’t show on the scoreboard during halftime, with the Panthers only holding a four-point lead during the break. 

The stifling Pitt defense and five three-pointers in the first 10:39 of the game contributed heavily to the Panthers’ first-half success. But the Panthers couldn’t get anything done close to the basket, going 2-9 on dunks and layups.

On the first possession of the game, the Panthers’ defense showed their tenacity by forcing a quick turnover that led to a three-pointer from junior forward Zach Austin.

First-year guard Jaland Lowe and Carrington both soon added to the scoring, with Lowe hitting a three-pointer and Carrington hitting a mid-range jumper. 

The first-year guards kept on the gas early in the game, combining for 12 of the first 17 points for the Panthers. This helped Pitt take an early 17-12 lead against the Tigers.

Leggett then joined in on the three-point party by immediately hitting a triple off the under 12-minute media timeout. But this left Pitt senior forward Blake Hinson, who has hit a three-pointer in the past 15 games, without a shot from deep. 

But that didn’t matter for the Panthers’ defense, as they forced five early Clemson turnovers and got out to a 25-18 lead at the under-eight media timeout.

At this moment, Clemson’s strategy of making all the Panthers but Hinson beat them wasn’t working, but the Tigers kept with it. 

After the under-eight media timeout, the Tigers only allowed six more points from the Panthers in the first half. Hinson got his first points of the game by making two consecutive free throws and a layup. 

But the Panthers were frustrated, and it was obvious they should have had a larger lead over the Tigers.

In the final moments of the first half, Leggett became the only other Panther who converted a layup for Pitt in the first half. Leggett’s late first-half efforts were the only reason the Tigers couldn’t take a late lead over the Panthers both halftime.

At two minutes and one second into the second half, Clemson earned its first lead of the game at 32-31 on a Schieffelin free throw. The game was starting to get out of control for the Panthers.

But after the under-16 media timeout, Austin slowed down the Clemson momentum. The junior forward showed off his athleticism on an and-one dunk, cutting the Panthers’ deficit from four to one.

Even Austin’s momentum-shifting play couldn’t solve the Panthers’ struggles from deep. Pitt hadn’t hit a three-pointer since 9:21 left in the first half and missed 11 straight three-point attempts since then. 

 An entire half later, with 9:27 left in regulation, Carrington hit a three-pointer to end that drought. The first-year guard then responded with yet another triple on the next possession that gave Pitt a 50-46 with just under nine minutes left. 

But just like in the first-half, the Panthers couldn’t take advantage.

The Tigers outscored the Panthers 15-6 in the next 4:36. Sophomore guard Josh Beadle and Schieffelin led Clemson during this run, providing six and five points, respectively. Pitt was now trailing Clemson 61-56 with 4:08 remaining.

Carrington gave Pitt fans hope in the final moments of the game, providing four consecutive points for the Panthers, which eventually made it a one-point game.

But unlike Pitt in the first half, Clemson responded. Clemson senior center P.J. Hall made two clutch free throws on the ensuing possession. Carrington then missed a three-pointer that would have tied the game up. Hunter capped off the game for Clemson by making a triple on a fortuitous bounce off the backboard.

Pitt returns to the hardwood on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. as it travels to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to play Boston College. Fans can catch the game on the ACC Network.

About the Contributor
Matthew Scabilloni, Senior Staff Writer