Saturday night, Pitt faced off against Notre Dame. But even though the Irish came into the contest as one of the weaker ACC teams, the result was the same for Pitt as it the last two games. In the end, the Panthers suffered an embarrassing 84-58 loss,
This game looked to be a game the Panthers should have won. That however was not the case. The Panthers dropped their game to Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-9) 84 – 58 while the Panthers themselves fall to 8-5.
Things got out of control quickly. Things were close for about ten minutes before the Irish began to steadily pull away for a 41-29 lead at halftime. Notre Dame would keep their intensity going in the second half by scoring 43 additional points.
The 84 points were the most given up by the team all season. The Irish were hot from the field, shooting a blistering 56%, including connecting on 13 of 24 three-point shots. Meanwhile, the Panthers couldn’t get anything going, taking an incredible 73 shots and connecting on only about 32% of them. Pitt also only got to the free throw line five times and also shot 8-26 from three-point range. The Panthers did take care of the ball, giving up only eight turnovers. But when you shoot that poorly, that hardly matters.
While this game certainly did not go the Panthers’ way it does not mean that there were not high spots to talk about. Justin Champagnie easily had the best game for the Panthers with 19 points and 11 rebounds — both easily team-highs. No one else on the Panthers got into double figures. The next highest scorer for the Panthers was Ithiel Horton with nine points. Champagnie showed his worth as an all-around player for this Panthers team and even in a lose gained further ground on become ACC Player of the Year.
Horton, by the way, had an interesting moment after he exited the game at one point for a technical foul. In the aftermath, he walked past head coach Jeff Capel as Capel yelled something towards him, pursuing him a bit as Horton simply headed for the locker room. More will hopefully come out on that.
Cormac Ryan led the Fighting Irish with 19 points off the bench. Prentiss Hubb, Dane Goodwin, and Juwan Durham would each score 17, 16, and 14 points, respectively.
The Panthers look to bounce back from this three-game slump against 20th ranked Virginia Tech on Wednesday, February 3 at 7 p.m. on the ACC Network.