The end of the season is looking pretty good for Pittsburgh Panthers basketball fans.
Boston College did what many other teams in the ACC has done to the Panthers this season: beat them, by a lot. Even at home in the Petersen Events Center, Kevin Stallings’ team couldn’t earn their first ACC win.
Now, the Panthers are officially on a 14-game losing streak, with their last win occurring back on Dec. 22 against Towson University.
The Panthers held only a slim lead over the Eagles going into halftime, 34-32. However, in the second half, the Eagles exploded for 49 points, compared to Pittsburgh’s 29 points.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed with the way we played in the second half,” Stallings said. “We never got the high post shut down. The two things that have bothered us all year long, turnovers and rebounding were big problems.”
Stalling also noted that the response to adversity in the second half was “not very good” and took the blame on himself.
“That’s on me,” he said. “We have to try to create some more adverse things in practice, create some more physicality, some tougher situations so we respond better when something like that happens.”
Boston College was led in scoring by Jerome Robinson, who scored 27 points. Jordan Chatman, a starter along with Robinson, posted double-digit points, scoring 17.
Off the bench, the Eagles had one double-digit scorer in Vin Baker Jr., who posted 11 points in his 11 minutes on the court.
Sophomore, and native of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Nik Popovic collected a team-high of 14 rebounds while fellow sophomore Ky Bowman led in assists with seven.
After the game, Eagles head coach Jim Christian said that the ACC is a “tough” league, and hopes that Stallings can turn the Panthers organization around.
“I think it is going to take time,” Christian said. “I watched them on tape a ton getting ready for this game. I see they are playing freshman and the freshman are starting to get better. Sometimes as coaches, you see guys grow when everybody else doesn’t.”
That growth is shown through freshman Parker Stewart, who led the way for the Panthers, scoring 16 points. However, he did not collect a single rebound or provide any assists.
Parker said that team intensity lacks when players aren’t hitting shots, which he said “can’t happen.”
“Every time we get hit, and a team goes on a run, we kind of fall back,” Parker said. “That can’t happen. When it happens we have to try to hit them just as hard as they hit us.”
Just like the Eagles, the Panthers had a double-digit scorer off the bench. Jared Wilson-Frame scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and had one assist in his 25 minutes.
Wilson-Frame shared the leading rebounder slot with Khameron Davis. All of Davis’ rebounds were defensive rebounds.
Marcus Carr led the Panthers in assists with five.
Stallings said after the game that the winless streak in the ACC certainly has an effect on his players.
“It’s been tough on them and they continue to try,” Stallings said. “It’s obvious with the way we came out and played in the first half. Now we’ve got a little bit of an ‘uh-oh’ sort of effect when somebody makes a run, or they get the lead. That’s not something that should happen, but I feel like that happened a little bit tonight.”
The Panthers have a difficult schedule with their last four ACC matchups.
On Sunday at 6 p.m., the Panthers (8-19) will travel to face Florida State (17-8).
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