In what should’ve been a “gimme game” at the Petersen Events Center in front of an all-time record low attendance of 2,399, it was anything but as the Pitt Panthers (3-4) struggled to completely put away the High Point Panthers (2-4) until some late free throws helped them prevail, 71-63.
Pitt was led by another strong performance from the ever-so-slightly improving freshman guard Marcus Carr. He dropped 19 points while grabbing 5 rebounds and only 2 assists, a low number for the freshman who’s been dishing out some quality passes and facilitating the Panthers’ offense in the early going.
High Point was led by Andre Fox, who had a game-high 20 points and also had four rebounds.
Pitt was very inconsistent in the shooting department Tuesday as they had multiple leads of nine point that they watched evaporate quickly even giving way to the occasional High Point lead.
With four players in double-digit scoring on the night, Pitt shot 55% (22/40) from the field and hit 8 of their 19 three point shots for a 42% clip. Carr, Ryan Luther (15), Jonathan Milligan (12), and Jared Wilson-Frame (11) were the four Panthers in double-digits while Shamiel Stevenson had 8.
Luther, one of the two returning players (Milligan is the other), also added 8 rebounds and 5 assists to cotinue what has been a strong campaign thus far in his senior season.
High Point put up an outstanding fight despite no having their second-leading scorer from last season, Jahaad Proctor, who was out due to injury. One can’t help think Pitt wouldn’t have hit their low-point had they lost to High Point.
Two Pitt walk-ons made their debut for the Panthers tonight as Joey Mascaro and Anthony Starzynski checked in with 3.3 seconds left.
The Panthers will look to claw their way back to .500 on Friday when they take on Duquense at PPG Paints Arena in the City Game. Coverage begins at 7:00 PM on 93.7 The Fan. Pitt lost last years meeting against the Dukes, 64-55, which snapped a 15-year winning streak for the Panthers.