It’s been a rough year for the Pittsburgh basketball program.
In its second year with Kevin Stallings as head coach, the Panthers have not won a single game in conference play and entered Saturday’s home game against No. 1 Virginia with an 8-21 (0-16 ACC) record.
With its first half performance against the Cavaliers, Pitt may have finally hit rock bottom.
The Panthers went into the half trailing 30-7. Yes, Pitt scored only seven points in 20 minutes of action.
During that span, the Panthers mustered just one made field goal for the entire half. They were 1-of-22 (0/9 from two, 1/13 from three) from the field with that lone bucket coming in the form of a Jared Wilson-Frame 3-pointer. That’s a sizzling 4.5 percent from the field. The team’s other four points came from the free-throw line.
Pitt’s first-half field goal percentage is the worst in program history while the seven points, surprisingly, is third-worst overall, but the worst for the Panthers in the shot clock era.
I’ll have you know, that was only the third-worst half of basketball in Pitt history.
Scored 2 points vs. Penn State on 1906 and NONE at Penn State in 1950. https://t.co/XDqvLsrbJJ
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) February 24, 2018
However, Pitt’s showing was not as bad as Cal’s five-point effort against Notre Dame in 2010 — the fewest points scored in a first half against a Division I opponent since the shot clock was introduced in 1986. Also, Pitt was one missed shot away from tying Savannah State for the worst field goal percentage in a half. In the second half against Kansas State in 2008, the Tigers shot 1-of-23 (4.3 percent) from the field (see page 8 here).
Virginia ranks No. 1 nationally in scoring defense, so the Panthers struggling offensively felt like a foregone conclusion. But seven points is a new level of ineptitude.
Things went a little better for Pitt in the second half. The Panthers were able to score 30 points while shooting 41.6 percent (10/24) from the floor in an eventual 66-37 loss. For the game, Pitt shot 23.9 percent (11/46).
Final: Virginia 66, Pitt 37.
That's the third-fewest points in a game for Pitt since the 1954-55 season.
— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) February 24, 2018
Pitt dropped to 0-17 in ACC play with the loss and has one more chance — at Notre Dame on Wednesday — to avoid going winless in conference play.
With the win Virginia clinched the ACC regular season title.
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