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Pitt uses second-half run to down Virginia Tech

Feb 24, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers forward Blake Hinson (2) reacts after making a three point basket despite being knocked to the court by the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A 16-0 second-half run vaulted host Pittsburgh to a 79-64 victory over Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech Saturday night.

The Panthers (18-9, 9-7 ACC) were paced by Blake Hinson’s 22-point showing. He also had three rebounds, while Jaland Lowe added 18 points and six assists. Ishmael Leggett had 13 points and six boards as a reserve.

For the visitors, Sean Pedulla had a game-high 26 points and also had eight rebounds. Mylyjael Poteat totaled 10 points and seven boards.

With 15:18 to play, Leggett came off the bench to make it 46-42, then Carlton Carrington added to the edge with a layup on the team’s following possession — his first shot attempt of the game. The two would each add another bucket over the next minute-plus.

Lowe, who began the surge by tying the score at 42, added another basket, then Guillermo Diaz Graham’s three-pointer opened up a 16-point advantage. Poteat finally put a stop to the Hokies’ five-minute dry spell after that.

Lowe’s break-away lay-in pushed the Panthers’ lead to 77-57 with 3:30 to play.

Pitt jumped out to a 7-0 lead early, including a logo three-pointer by Hinson, then went quiet for more than five minutes after. Meanwhile, Pedulla got his Hokies going by scoring the game’s next six points.

Virginia Tech (15-12, 7-9) would take three brief leads before the Panthers’ Zack Austin knocked down a trey with 9:44 gone by in the first half. That spurred another 7-0 run by Pitt, and the Panthers held the lead until a Pedulla three-pointer tied it at 34 with 54 seconds left in the period. Hinson and Hunter Cattoor traded trips to the free throw line after that to account for a 36-36 count at the midway point.

Both sides shot well in the initial 20 minutes, as Virginia Tech went 15 for 30 (50 percent) and the Panthers 12 of 25 (48 percent).

–Field Level Media

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