Pitt Succumbs to #1 Virginia 66-37

In a game that best describes their dismal season. The Pitt Panthers basketball team proves that no matter how bad it can get, it can get much worse as they not only lost to the #1 ranked team in the Virginia Cavaliers, but a 29 point defeat pretty much proves that it’s as bad as it can get. Here’s how bad it was in a quote taken from the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bell Air: (After watching at Bel-Air High School’s basketball team)

Jazz “Man, these guys need help.”
Will “Help? They need a telethon.” Yeah, that about sums it up.

On a special day that honored their seniors and when they once again donned their retro uniforms, that honored one of their best teams in history.

Pitt Redshirt Senior Guard Jonathan Milligan and Family ( Photo: Vince Butts, Urban Media Today)

“That wasn’t any fun.” 

 Said Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings.

“Virginia is the real deal, if they are healthy. They had a couple guys who were banged up towards the end of the game. I thought on film that it was the best Virginia team that I have seen, at least since Tony [Bennett] has been there, and he would have a much better opinion on that than me.”

As  a result of the loss , the Panthers now have 8 wins against  22 losses overall this season.The  22 losses setting a school record which includes an abysmal 0-17 record  in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) a loss in their final game of the season of the regular season vs. Florida State will give Pitt their first winless season in conference play.

“There is nothing you can really say.”

Stallings continued. “You can try different things to get things to work. I thought we were better in the second half, our pace was a little better, we were able to jump up and make some shots, but you have to make shots against them, and that is hard because they are great on that end.”

Pitt Forward (23) Shamiel Stevenson in white grabs a rebound (L) and Pitt Guard (13) Khameron Davis (R) going in for the Dunk against Virginia, Saturday February 24,2018 ( Photos: Vince Butts:Urban Media Today)

If you think the final score was bad, the halftime score was even worse: Pitt trailed Virginia 30-7 at halftime. Only 7 points! One 3-pointer, one field goal and 1 free throw in 15 minutes of organized college basketball.

Here’s what Stallings said about Pitt’s first half.

“I told them I was disappointed because I thought we had a deer in headlights look in the first half, and I did not anticipate that. I hadn’t seen that, I hadn’t felt that. If anything, we don’t have anything to lose. We should just throw caution to the wind and play, and that’s what I told them yesterday, and that was the message before the game, but obviously it didn’t work. Like I said, we played a little better in the second half.”

Well, it didn’t get much better in the second half for Pitt as they were only able to generate 30 more points in the second half, while one of the nation’s best defenses continued to neutralize them. Virginia only needed to score 36 more points in what was probably their easiest victory of the season.

The Cavaliers improved their record to 26-2 (15-1 ACC) and have clinched the ACC regular season title. De’Andre Hunter led Virginia with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Pitt freshman Parker Stewart lead Pitt with 12 points as they shot 23.8 percent from the floor  in the game in contrast to  Virginia’s 51 percent.

” I have been on the other side of that “

Said Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett.

“[scoring] maybe nine or 10 or 12 [points]. That’s a hard feeling. I have the utmost respect for Kevin Stallings. I think he has such a bright mind and he’s such a great coach. I’ve coached against him when he was at Vanderbilt and he’s so good. [Pitt] is so young and they’ve had some things happen. So, I certainly feel compassion. But, you’re in the heat of the game and we were trying to be as focused as we can.”

 

Pitt’s final game will be Wednesday night at Notre Dame and it will be their final chance to get that elusive first conference Win. The question isn’t how bad Pitt wants it, but whether their bad enough to get it, because unfortunately, they haven’t been able to reach that level all season.

Please e-mail Ray at : ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him: @urbnamediaRay on twitter

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