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Pitt defeats Florida State to secure 20th win of the season

Senior forward Blake Hinson scored 27 points, as Pitt defeated Florida State, 88-73, at Petersen Events Center on Tuesday night.

The victory improved the Panthers record to 20-10, overall, and 11-8 in the ACC. Pitt has reached the 20-win mark in back-to-back seasons–the first time the program has accomplished that in a decade.

The Panthers shot nearly 56 percent from the floor (55.9)–including 42.3 percent from behind the arc (11-26). Hinson was nine of 15 from the floor–including an impressive six of 11 from three-point range.

Pitt’s dynamic duo of freshmen guards–Jaland Lowe and Carlton “Bub” Carrington–added 17 and 12 points, respectively. Speaking of guards, junior Ishmael Leggett continued to contribute off the bench, scoring 10 points in 30 minutes of action.

Pitt got out to a quick 5-0 lead before the Seminoles stormed back to grab a 12-7 advantage. The Panthers then took control of things and held a 42-31 lead at halftime.

The Panthers’ lead grew to 53-35 early in the second half before Florida State slowly began to creep back into the game. And it looked like it was “game on” after the Seminoles cut the deficit to 56-49 on a Jamir Watkins jump shot with 12:49 remaining.

But that would be as close as Florida State got. The Panthers controlled the action the rest of the game and never allowed the visiting squad to truly gain momentum.

The Panthers close out the regular season with another home date vs. NC State this Saturday. After that, it’s the ACC Tournament.

Speaking of back-to-back and speaking of tournaments, will Pitt make it back to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years for the first time in a decade?

The oddsmakers don’t seem to think so. The Panthers currently have less than a six-percent chance of making the field as an automatic qualifier (winning the ACC Tournament) and less than a one-percent chance of making it as an at-large qualifier.

All hope is not lost, however. The Panthers win over Florida State clinched a single-bye in the conference tournament. Pitt, who has the same 11-8 conference mark as Clemson, currently sits in fifth place thanks to being swept by the Tigers during the regular season. But the Panthers can clinch fourth place–and a double-bye in the ACC Tournament–with a win over the Wolfpack and a Clemson loss to Wake Forest.

Pitt is even still alive for the number three seed in the ACC Tournament, depending on how everything shakes out this weekend.

The Panthers are currently 44th in the Net Rankings and Quad Wins category.


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