Carlton Carrington scored 19 points to lead four Panthers players in double-figures as host Pittsburgh turned away the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 86-74, at the Petersen Events Center on Monday night.
Similar to their previous game — a win at home against Binghamton — the Panthers (3-0) started cold from behind the arc. Blake Hinson knocked won the team’s first three-point attempt early in the first half — his 16th consecutive game with a trey — then Pitt missed all but one of its next dozen.
Eagles reserve Dakota Rivers hit a layup to tie the score 30-30 with 5:04 left in the first half — pulling the Eagles (1-2) even for the first time since the start of the game.
With 2:13 left in the first half, freshman reserve Jaland Lowe hit his second three-pointer of the game during a 10-2 run that helped the Panthers take a 45-35 halftime lead. Carrington, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Rookie of the Week earlier in the day, knocked down all three free throws after being fouled a little over a minute later.
Lowe finished with 12 points, while Hinson had 18 and Ishmael Leggett 17 for the Panthers, who finished 8 for 28 from beyond the arc.
For all of the Panthers’ issues from three-point range over the first 20 minutes, the visitors couldn’t capitalize, posting the same mark from deep (3-for-14). Pitt made good use of 14 of 23 free throws in the first half, as Florida Gulf Coast had just three trips to the line before the intermission.
Leggett’s three-point play shortly after the second half began widened the gap to 13 points, the Panthers’ largest advantage of the night to that point. The Eagles had an 11-4 run later in the half, but cut their deficit no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Five Florida Gulf Coast players scored at least 10 points, paced by Keeshawn Kellman’s 14.
–Field Level Media
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