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Pitt Fights Off Florida Gulf Coast to Earn Third Win, 86-74



Carlton "Bub' Carrington drives to the basket for Pitt against Florida Gulf Coast on November 13, 2023. Photo by George Michalowski

PITTSBURGH – On Monday night, Pitt took down a tough Florida Gulf Coast squad 86-74 despite numerous comeback efforts from the Eagles.

Both teams started out the game hot, with Rahmir Barno and Blake Hinson trading buckets in the first five minutes. Barno scored eight points in that time frame, while Hinson followed with seven.

Pitt struggled for the next eight minutes, hitting just one of its next seven shots. Freshman guard Jaland Lowe stepped in to give the Panthers a spark, hitting a three and scoring a two-point field goal as well. The Panthers retained the lead all the way until the five-minute mark in the first half, when the pesky Florida Gulf Coast squad tied it up.

Lowe continued his strong half in the final minutes of the frame, hitting another three in addition to a layup capping off a quick drive to his left. Lowe went into the half tied for the team-high in points with ten with Hinson, and the Panthers built up a ten-point lead by the break, 45-35.

In the second half, FGCU hung around early behind big man Andre Weir, who overpowered Federiko Federiko and Pitt’s reserve bigs for some inside buckets early.

Throughout the majority of the half, Lowe continued to put the ball in the basket, while Bub Carrington and Ishmael Leggett both found their game and the Panthers poured it on. Pitt built its lead up to 12 points with 11:30 left in this one, but just could not escape the Eagles down the stretch.

After Weir hit an and-one layup for the Eagles with 4:04 to go, Pitt’s lead had been cut all the way down to five. The Eagles were on a 13-3 run, and the Panthers needed someone to step up late to avoid a massive upset in the third game of the season.

With three minutes to go, Leggett backed down his defender and hit a tough fadeaway floater in his face, extending Pitt’s lead to eight. The next possession, the Panthers earned a steal on defense that led to a wide-open Federiko slam on the other end, bringing the lead back to double digits. With time winding down on the final possession for Pitt, Carrington nailed a logo three pointer to make him the game’s leading scorer.

Carrington finished with 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting (7 for 7 from free-throw line). He also dished out seven assists in the win. Hinson followed Carrington with 18 points of his own, hitting six field goals and three threes. Leggett provided 17 points as well, while Lowe finished with 12.

For FGCU, Weir dominated the inside against Pitt’s bigs and scored 12 points. He also grabbed five rebounds in the contest. Keeshawn Kellman led the team with 14 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Pitt knocked down just 18 of its 32 free-throw tries (56%), continuing its rough patch from the charity stripe.

With the win, Pitt advances to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2018-19, when the Panthers started off with a 6-0 record. Florida Gulf Coast falls to 1-2 with the loss.

Pitt now moves on to play against Jacksonville on Friday, November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Petersen Events Center. Following that game, the Panthers will travel to Brooklyn, New York for the Preseason NIT event. Its first game comes against the Florida Gators on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 9:30 p.m., followed by a matchup against either Baylor or Oregon State on Friday, Nov. 24.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 day ago

Good win. Gotta do better from the free throw line, though.

1 day ago

didn’t see the game but did Weir really “dominate” ? he was 0-2 with 4 reb against IU. not a good sign for when we run into much bigger and better big men in the ACC. H2P !

1 day ago

Early season games like this are a good thing. These freshman back court players are very good. They’re only going to improve, and quickly is my guess. I’m thinking this will be a “rebuilding” type season that ends in an NCAA tourney bid. And young Mr. Cummings arriving next year. H2P! At least it looks bright at The Pete.

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