PITTSBURGH – The Pitt men’s basketball team fell in its season opener, 78-63, to The Citadel Tuesday evening at the Petersen Events Center.
Sophomore John Hugley recorded career-highs in both points (27) and rebounds (10) for the first double-double of his career, while sophomore Femi Odukale recorded 20 points, four assists and three steals.
The Pitt tandem combined for 47 points on 18-of-34 shooting from the field ,while the rest of the roster combined for just 16 points on just 5-of-26 (.192) shooting. The Panthers shooting woes on the night extended to both the three-point arc (2-of-17, .118) and the foul line (15-of-31, .484).
The Bulldogs jumped to a 9-2 lead two and a half minutes in and led 14-4 after the first media timeout on the strength of four three-point field goals. The Panthers trailed 43-31 after 20 minutes of action as The Citadel.started the game 6-of-9 from three-point range and made seven threes before intermission.
Pitt got within nine points (50-41) at the 17:13 mark, but The Citadel answered with a three-pointer to regain a double-digit advantage. The Panthers continued to battle throughout the second half but were unable to go on any extended runs as they were thwarted by missed free throws, inconsistency finishing around the rim and defensive breakdowns that led to open threes at key moments.
The Panthers posted a 43-39 rebounding edge and grabbed 16 offensive boards, but managed just four second chance points for the contest.
Jason Roche made the most of his freshman debut, going 8-of-14 from three-point range en route to a 27-point night. SoCon Preseason Player of the Year Hayden Brown added 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Tyler Moffe contributed 12 points, four rebounds and five assists.
The Panthers are back in action Friday, Nov. 12 at West Virginia in the latest installment of the Backyard Brawl. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
(This Story Courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Athletics)