Not since the Big East Tournament of 2001, when Ricardo Greer dragged Pitt to the Big East Championship game, had Boston College beaten Pitt in basketball. That tradition continued last night as Pitt snapped its 8-game losing streak. Moving to a robust 2-9 in the ACC and out of dead last. Now at second to dead last.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if we were playing the Golden State Warriors,” Stallings said. “We needed a win.”
“When you go on a skid like we’ve been on, you just need a win,” Stallings said. “It doesn’t matter who it’s against. You don’t say to yourself, ‘Well we better get these guys because if we don’t.’ … You just play them as they come and keep trying to knock the door down.”
It was a less than promising start. Artis drove to the basket on the first possession but stepped on a BC defender’s foot and turned his ankle. He was in such obvious and severe pain, that his scream was heard over the broadcast. Granted, the Conte Arena was so empty you could hear a lot of stuff on the court, but it was still scary.
Artis did return for a few minutes in the first half and played most of the second half. He was definitely not at 100%, though.
The main story was Mike Young going off for 30 points. He was unstoppable by BC. 7-9 on shots inside the arc and fouled plenty.
The biggest surprise was seeing Justice Kithcart filling the offensive void of Artis in the first half. Kithcart has shown no confidence in his ability to shoot since the first few games of the season. Forced into action, and having no choice but to take some shots. He shot 3-3 on threes. No one saw that coming.
Hitting that first three made an impact to his overall demeanor and confidence. You could see him become more willing to direct as the point guard and a little less deferential to the seniors.
The only downside from Kithcart’s performance was his defense. It surprised me since the freshman was supposed to excel at was defense. He looked lost in the zone and was struggling with switches and keeping his hands up to defend shots on the perimeter.
The last few games, Chris Jones seems to have decided that if no one else will attack the basket, he’ll do it. The result has been better than expected. Finishing a bit more and not just getting to the free throw line, but hitting them.
While the players continue to state optimism about making a run, it has to be taken gently. Pitt beat a fellow cellar dweller. The defense continues to be very weak — BC shot 59% on 2-point shots.
Still, after over a month without a win, enjoy what you can get.