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Pitt turns page after blowout, hosts Virginia Tech

Feb 17, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers forward Blake Hinson (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 86-59. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday’s trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., was a total disaster for Pittsburgh with a 33-point loss at Wake Forest.

The Panthers (17-9, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) return home to try to right the ship Saturday against Virginia Tech (15-11, 7-8).

Pitt coach Jeff Capel struggled to find a silver lining after the lopsided setback against the Demon Deacons, which snapped a five-game winning streak.

“I don’t know if there is a lesson learned,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I mean, at this time in the season, you should be past learning lessons. We’re close to the end of February. We just have to be better, period.”

Standout Blake Hinson, who had a career-best 41 points the game before against Louisville, was held to 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting against Wake Forest. The Panthers went 18-for-62 (29.0 percent) from the field overall.

Ishmael Leggett scored 15 off the bench to lead Pittsburgh and Jaland Lowe added 12 points.

Virginia Tech (15-11, 7-8) has some momentum after a 75-41 home rout of Virginia on Monday. It was the Hokies’ largest win over their rival since 1961. Lynn Kidd paced Virginia Tech with 14 points, while Tyler Nickel and Robbie Beran both had 13 and Mylyjael Poteat 11.

“We had great energy,” Hokies coach Mike Young said. “We were as connected defensively as we’ve been, and you have to be against a team like UVA. … We did a good job tonight of limiting their best players, and that helped us a lot.”

Sean Pedulla (15.2 points per game) and Hunter Cattoor (14.0) lead Virginia Tech in scoring, with Kidd contributing 13.0 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds.

Along with Hinson, who has scored in double figures in 23 games for the Panthers this season, Leggett has broken out as one of the top reserve players in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He puts up 12.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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