Hot shooting Florida State hands Pitt it’s 3rd ACC loss

Struggles defensively as Capel said they must play better in order to win
Blake Hinson shot blocked
Photo credit Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It was one of those games that Jeff Capel worried about in days leading up to it. He knew that 623-game winner Leonard Hamilton had a team better than a 6-13 overall record. Florida State was picked fifth preseason in the ACC and found the spark they were looking for Saturday afternoon beating the Panthers 71-64.

“They were terrific,” Capel said. “They were playing so much better than their record. They started to get healthier and have a lot of talent on their team. We got off to a really good start, good energy and then weren’t able to sustain it.”

“We allowed our inability to make shots affect our defense.”

Panthers (13-7, 6-3 ACC) came out strong at the Petersen Events Center building a 15-5 lead in the first 5:14 of the game, including a four-point play by Greg Elliott. The crowd was into it, Florida State burned a timeout.

The Seminoles (7-13, 5-4 ACC) then couldn’t miss, especially from three.  FSU hit seven of its first 10 three-point attempts as part of a 20-2 run to lead by as many as a dozen and by 10 at half.

Pitt came in outscoring its opponents by 95 in second halves this year. They would continue that trend after halftime again. A pair of three-pointers by Blake Hinson gave Pitt a three-point lead just six-and-a half minutes into the second half. It was tight most of the rest of the game, Panthers down by just one at the 2:20 mark cutting the lead to 65-64.

The Panthers wouldn’t score again.

Florida State made 10-20 from three and 51% from the floor overall. The Panthers came into the game second in the ACC allowing a .405 field goal percentage.

“We did not defend up to our standards and how we need to win in this league,” Capel said. “That’s not going to win you a lot of games. We have to do a better job moving forward.”

“We didn’t do our thing defensively,” Hinson said. “We did a lot of things wrong and that’s why we lost,”

Notes

·     Pitt shot 32% FG in the first half, 54% in the second
·     Panthers were 7-28 from three, they came in hitting 34% from beyond the arc
·     Jamarius Burton was 8-13 from the floor, 20 points and five assists
·     Hinson 5-12 for 16 points, nine rebounds and five fouls
·     Federiko Federiko eight points, eight rebounds, three blocks
·     Bench points, FSU 17, Pitt 4
·     2nd chance points, Pitt 11, FSU 0
·     FSU’s Darin Green finished with 24 points, 5-8 from three. “We didn’t do a good enough job making him uncomfortable,” Burton said. “He got off to a hot start. He’s a very versatile player and he made us pay today.”
·     FSU’s Matthew Cleveland 11 points, eight rebounds & Caleb Mills 11 points and seven rebounds
·     Jeff Capel’s teams are now 3-3 against Florida State

Up Next

Game two of the three game homestand against Wake Forest at 7p. The Demon Deacons (14-6, 6-3) are coming off a 76-67 loss to Virginia.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports