Pitt (21-10, 14-6 ACC) will look to continue their push for an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament against Georgia Tech (15-17, 6-14 ACC). Pittsburgh is a strong team against the spread and has won four straight games.
Jamarius Burton leads the Panthers with 15.7 PPG and 4.8 RPG. He is a good shooter and finishes well at the rim, though he doesn’t contribute much from three-point range.
Jamarius Burton played a stellar game against Georgia Tech, scoring 21 points to lead Pittsburgh to an 89-81 win. He made 20 of his 28 shots (60%) from the floor and was 4-of-4 from three-point range, while also adding six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
The Panthers, led by coach Jeff Capel, advanced to their first ACC tournament quarterfinals since 2016. They’ll face No. 4 seed Duke on Thursday, a team they beat 77-69 in the regular season.
In addition to his impressive performance, Burton had a great shot-blocking effort that helped Pitt hold the Yellow Jackets to just eight second-half field goals. He made four blocks on the night, including a highlight-reel stop of a drive to the basket that forced a foul.
He also blocked a shot that could’ve been turned into a layup, forcing a turnover. In the second half, he had another great play that I’d love to see more of against other teams this year: He switched onto a guard on a fast break and stayed with him. Then he took his man down to the baseline, contested a pump fake and scoop that missed and then got a hand up on a follow dunk attempt for the block.
Overall, Burton’s performance was impressive and he should be a part of the Pittsburgh team’s plans in the upcoming season. He’s a very good scorer and an excellent defensive player, so this could be the start of something special for him.
Federiko was a big part of Pitt’s victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds while providing stout defense on the interior in his second ACC game of the season.
A native of Cairo, Egypt, Federiko played basketball in Finland before moving to the United States and playing high school ball at First Love Christian Academy in Washington, Pa. After high school, he enrolled at Northern Oklahoma, a junior college.
He ranked in the top ten in Finland for assists and was a member of its national championship team. He also ranked in the top 10 in blocks and steals for the country.
Despite being a stout interior player, Federiko was unable to keep his team in the game when it fell behind early. He was just 5-of-10 from the field and scored only five points in the first half.
However, the Panthers found their rhythm late in the first half. The Panthers went on a 13-0 run over the next 8 minutes and took a 33-32 lead with 3:21 left in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets were able to trim their deficit to 11 points at the 3:30 mark, but that’s the last time they were within a single possession of taking the lead. They went 0-for-6 from the foul line in the first half, and they made only 4-of-16 three-point attempts.
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets got off to another slow start, hitting just 2-of-6 from the floor and scoring just six points over the first 13:50 of play. That was their worst shooting performance of the season, and it came against a Pitt team that had just lost a tough game at Miami in the past.
Blake Hinson had a big night for Pittsburgh in the Panthers’ 89-81 win over Georgia Tech in the second round of the ACC Tournament. He scored 24 points on a program-record eight 3-pointers and helped lead the Panthers to victory.
Pitt (22-10) advanced to Thursday’s ACC quarterfinal game against No. 4 seed Duke (23-8), the team that defeated the Panthers in the regular-season meeting 77-69 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 11.
In the first half, the Panthers led by as many as nine points before Georgia Tech cut the lead to two at the 3:48 mark. After a three-point play from Nelly Cummings, Georgia Tech tied the score at 33-33 at the 6:43 mark before grabbing the lead again on a Miles Kelly jumper just over four minutes later.
The Yellow Jackets were down just one point when a pair of Hinson three-pointers gave the Panthers a 47-45 lead with just over eight minutes to play in the second half. An empathetic and-one from Burton and a Hinson three made it a five-point game with less than a minute to go.
Despite the deficit, the Panthers kept fighting and never let the Yellow Jackets take control of the game. They also kept a disciplined defensive effort throughout the game and held Georgia Tech to just 24.6 percent shooting in the second half while limiting them to a field goal per possession.
Pitt (22-10, 11-8 ACC) escaped a tough matchup with Georgia Tech (11-17, 3-14 ACC) with a 76-68 win on Tuesday night. The Panthers are now one victory away from a share of the ACC regular-season title, but they must win at least two of their final three games if they want to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.
The Panthers took a comfortable lead early on, extending it to as many as eight points early in the first half. They used offensive production from all five starters and forced six turnovers in the opening eight and a half minutes.
After the Panthers pushed their lead to seven points with 10:33 left in the half, Georgia Tech went on a 9-0 run over the next 4:31 to pull within one. That gave Pittsburgh a 35-33 lead at the half, and the Yellow Jackets were never able to pull back ahead of the Panthers.
Nelly Cummings recorded his fourth 20-point game of the season to help Pittsburgh escape the game, and he also posted a perfect 6-for-6 effort at the free throw line. Blake Hinson scored 19 and Federiko Federiko had 14 for the Panthers, who shot a season-best 20-of-20 from the charity stripe.
With the game tied at 52-51 with nine minutes to go, a pair of dunks by Federiko and a fast break layup by Nike Sibande put Pitt back on top for good. A three-pointer from Kyle Sturdivant pulled Tech within a point with 3:04 to play, but Nelly Cummings stepped up big time from the foul line and helped give Pitt the cushion it needed.
Despite the impressive performance of junior guard Nelly Cummings, the Panthers’ defense did not have its best game, as the Yellow Jackets forced 15 turnovers and outrebounded the Panthers 34-24. The Yellow Jackets shot only 37 percent from the floor and only 20-of-46 from behind the three-point line, which was an ugly performance for a team that has been hot recently.