Lucas: Pitt Rapid Reactions – University of North Carolina Athletics
Story Links By Adam Lucas
1. Well, that was painful in every possible way, as Pitt wins, 65-64.
2. One of Carolina’s biggest problems against Pitt is that the Panthers scouted the Tar Heels very well. After taking a 65-64 lead, Pitt did a pretty good job of cutting out what Carolina wanted to do, which was to throw him to midcourt and call time out. Instead, RJ Davis had to dribble into midfield, leaving just 0.6 seconds for the final game. That’s part of the reason Pitt has infuriatingly won five of six in the series and three in a row at the Smith Center, becoming the third team to do so along with Duke and Wake.
3. A good streak from Nelly Cummings basically provided enough offense for Pitt to win the game. Cummings caught fire at three to push Pitt to a seven-point lead, and Carolina just couldn’t make enough shots to catch up. Before committing a foul, Cummings went 8 for 11 from the field for his 21 points.
4. The heels didn’t pull well at all from anywhere. The Tar Heels converted 34.8 percent from the field, 18.5 percent from three and 59.1 percent from the free throw line. None of these ratings are good enough to win this type of match.
5. This shoot was even with a better performance from Caleb Love, who went 8 for 18 and 4 for 11 of three for his 22 points. It meant the rest of the team combined to go three-1 for 16 as RJ Davis was clearly hampered by the finger injury he suffered before the break.
6. Pitt managed in the first half to push Armando Bacot off the basket. Physically playing with an unpredictable team of referees, they limited it to 1 for 5 from the field. They sent him to the line seven times in those first 20 minutes, but he only made it four, which is probably a ratio they can live with compared to him converting two-point shots to a high pace. Bacot drew 11 fouls, but had “only” 15 points to go with his 11 rebounds.
7. Both teams walked into the locker room at half-time thinking their stars must surely have performed better in the second half. Bacot and RJ Davis combined to go 2 for 12, while Pitt’s Jamarius Burton and Blake Hinson went 2 for 9. Leaky Black did a solid job on Burton, who did most of his damage when Black was out. Burton was 6 for 18 from the floor after going 14 for 17 in Pittsburgh.
8. This first half was probably the scouting report on how to beat Carolina. Play them one-on-one (three assists on 11 shots), limit Armando Bacot’s touches (Bacot’s five shots were fourth on the team) and hope they don’t catch fire from the outside (Caroline was 4-for-13 on three and 30.6 percent on the field). The Tar Heels weren’t great at sharing the ball in the 40 minutes – they had six assists on 23 baskets.
9. Carolina hasn’t been very efficient with offensive rebounds. The Tar Heels had 13 offensive boards on 25 misses, which means they were catching more than half of their errant shots. But they turned that into just six points. For the game, the Heels had a very good 19 offensive rebounds, but only scored 13 points from them.
10. Some very good defensive minutes from Seth Trimble in the first half. Against a hard-to-defend team, Trimble came into the game and recovered a blocked shot (which he seems to have the knack for) and also drew an offensive foul.
11. Carolina was once again without Puff Johnson, who is recovering from knee pain.
12. Carolina included an acknowledgment of Jason Capel in the pre-game lineups, who then repaid the favor for the second straight year by standing on the court after the game and providing colorful commentary.
13. Large Wednesday night crowd at the Smith Center. Pitt took this victory on the road in front of a rowdy crowd.