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Young's 25 not enough as Pitt loses at Clemson

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Mike Young's 25 point effort wasn't enough as Clemson's Jarod Blossomgame scored 22 to lead the Tigers to an easy 73-60 win over ‪‎Pitt Wednesday night in Greenville.

In Pitt’s last road win over ACC foe Florida State, they had to erase a 10-point halftime deficit after shooting an abysmal percentage in that first 20 minutes. The Panthers probably would have happily taken that previous first-half performance over what they did in the opening half of Wednesday night’s game at Clemson.

Pitt shot 40 percent from the floor, but they were unable to stop the Tigers on the other end no matter what they did, which continued throughout the game, as Clemson (13-7, 6-2 ACC) handed Pitt (16-4, 5-3) a 73-60 loss at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. 

Committing seven turnovers in one half also does not bode well for the visiting team, especially in the ACC. Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame and guard Jordan Roper nearly outscored the entire Pitt team in the first half as Pitt managed just 26 points compared to the Tigers’ duo combined 25 points. The Panthers trailed 40-26 at the half.

It apparently took a rousing speech by coach Jamie Dixon to spark Pittsburgh last time out, but no such spark seemed to occur in this one.

Pitt’s leading scorer Michael Young carried the team offensively, scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting. But besides him, the usual cavalry of talent on this Panthers squad did not carry their weight. 

Guard James Robinson didn’t get his first points until three minutes into the second half, finishing with eight points in the contest, and forward Jamel Artis failed to knock down shots from mid-range that usually open up driving lanes for him and his teammates. He ended with nine points.

As a whole, Pitt simply could not knock down shots, particularly from the outside. The team finished 8-of-19 from 3-point land, with the majority coming with in game’s final minutes. Pitt shot 38 percent from the field in the game. 

The Panthers did not go down quietly, however. A 9-0 run cut the Tigers’ lead to nine points with just over 10 minutes to play in the game, but that was as close as Pitt would come down the stretch.

Clemson came back down to its season averages in terms of shooting in the final 20 minutes, but because the Panthers were unable to convert stops into points, the Tigers maintained a comfortable lead until the final horn sounded.

Pitt now enters the beginning of a daunting stretch of conference games, facing three ranked opponents in the next five contests. The Panthers start at home against Virginia Tech on Jan. 31 for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off.

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