Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Dean E. Smith Playing well in key moments inside the center is nothing new for Jamalius Burton. The Charlotte native led his high school team to the state championship at the building in 2018.
So on Wednesday night, when Pitt got the ball with 27.7 seconds left, Barton had thousands of Carolina fans cheering him on as he trailed the Tar Heels of North Carolina by one point. So I was happy to have the ball in my hand. While driving to the basket, Burton was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining. And with ice water running through his veins, the cool senior guard hit his two free throws to give the Panthers the lead.
“The coach created it in a huddle. He wanted me to set the screen for whoever RJ Davis was watching,” he said. has coaches and players who believe in me, they keep batteries in my back.”
UNC had a chance to win with 0.6 seconds remaining, but Nike Sibande went all out on Caleb Love’s grill to get the Tar Heels’ last-minute shot attempt. Pitt won his 65-64 with many wearing Carolina Blue leaving a sour taste in their mouths.
“You can’t go to Nike,” pit forward Blake Hinson said after the game.
For Pitt, the win is the first of three consecutive wins against the Tar Heels. The Panthers have won his 5-2 against UNC under Jeff Capel, and he has won 5 of his last 6 matchups against the Tar Heels.
It is also the third time this season that Pitt has won at least three games in a row. And with the Panthers win, the Tar Heels recorded his fourth straight win.
“What a great, intense college basketball game. Both teams really, really fought, fought, competed. I’m really, really proud of my team,” Capel said. It was a tough win for us, we just found a way to play.”
Perhaps most importantly for Pitt, this win over UNC is just another win for the Panthers’ Quad 1 and should boost the restart of the NCAA Tournament. Pitt is currently 4-2 in games against the Quad 1 team, with his two games remaining on the schedule at Virginia Tech on February 18 and at Miami on March 4. . “Last for In” to the tournament field.
“These guys don’t blink,” Capel said.
Nellie Cummings contributed 21 points and 3 assists for Pitt, while Burton added 19 points and 5 boards. Sibande scored his 10 points and had his team-high seven rebounds.
UNC’s biggest lead was seven points in the first half, starting the game with a 14–7 lead over Pitt. Nance scored five points during that stretch of heels.
Pitt launched a comeback near the end of the first half, but had to do so without the play of top scorer Blake Hinson, who was on the bench with two fouls. However, Burton stepped up and scored seven points in the final seven minutes of the first half, helping Pitt gain a one-point advantage during the break.
Speaking to the players in the locker room at halftime, Capel said: This is our half. ”
The Panthers were able to take the lead at first and give UNC a 6-point advantage, but then it caught fire and Cummings made three consecutive 3-pointers to break the kickstarted 15-2 run. .
Cummings fouled out late in the game, but finished the game with five 3-pointers. It’s the third time this season that Pitt and the Panthers have done so much in these games with his 3-0.
“From the outside, we may look understaffed, but whenever we run into adversity, it’s just the next person,” Cummings said.
Also important for Pitt was his ability to hold off current ACC Player of the Year, Armando Bako. His UNC center, huge, finished the game with 15 points and 11 boards, but shots from the floor he was 3-for-10 with 2 turnovers. It is the second time this season that Bacot have played a full game and finished with three goals or less.
Capel particularly complemented Federico Federico who finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in 28 minutes of action.
“I thought[Federico]was amazing. I mean, Bako is one of the best players in the country, definitely one of the best big guys,” Capel said. “I thought he did a great job pushing him off the block and contesting his shots.”
Pitt also reduced his UNC shot percentage beyond the arc to 18.5%. UNC is 0-3 in games where less than 20% of shots are from deep.
After an emotional road game, the Panthers are now off six games before hosting ACC Bottom Feeder Louisville.