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Monday July 28 2014
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Pitt offense falters yet again in loss to South Florida

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JJ Moore had a career-high 21 points, but his teammates only combined for 26 as reeling Pitt lost to surging South Florida 56-47 at the Petersen Events Center Sunday night -- the Panthers' seventh home loss this season.

Freshman guard Anthony Collins led South Florida with a career-high 22 points, including the first five points of the second half as the Bulls re-took control of the game with an 8-0 spurt to start the second frame.

Pitt opened the game missing on 11 of their first 12 shots and trailed by as much as 11 in the first half, but Moore scored 8 of Pitt's final 12 points in the half to briefly give the Panthers a 27-26 lead.

Collins' opening flurry in the second half put the Bulls back in control, but Moore caught fire once again, scoring six straight points for Pitt to cut USF's lead to 42-39 with 9:26 left in the game. South Florida answered with the next five points, however, as Toralyn Fitzpatrick drained a 3-pointer and Gus Gilchrist converted a layup to put the Bulls up eight again, and the Panthers couldn't get any closer.

The loss spoiled senior day for Pitt, who has now lost four in a row and dropped to 4-11 in the Big East. The Panthers have never won less than five conference games since they joined the Big East in 1982.

Senior Ashton Gibbs was just 1-7 from the floor with a season-low 2 points, and his backcourt mate, junior Tray Woodall, was just 1-4 with 3 turnovers, also scoring just 2 points.

Moore turned in his big night after being held without a field goal four times in Pitt's last six games.

The victory—USF's fourth in a row—guaranteed the Bulls a winning record in Big East play for the first time since joining the conference in 2005.

Victor Rudd Jr. added 11 points and six rebounds for the Bulls, who have won four straight games and five of their past six. Nasir Robinson scored nine points and added 11 rebounds for the Panthers.

The Panthers are off this week, returning to action on Saturday when they visit Louisville.

I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
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