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Pitt Vs. Tennessee: Panthers Outhustled, Outrebounded, Outplayed

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Pitt was simply outplayed in today’s ugly 83-76 loss. The final score will only show a seven-point defeat, but make no mistake about it – the game was never that close. Pitt fought back at the end of the second half, but by then, it was far too late.

To Pitt’s credit, there’s not much you can do when you run into a team that’s shooting lights out. Tennessee shot 56% from the field to Pitt’s 41%. The Panthers were also beaten at their own game. The Vols played better defense, rebounded better, and generally outhustled a clearly frustrated Pitt team.

How often do you hear of a team doing those three things better than Pitt?

That’s why I’m willing to write this game off somewhat as an anomaly. But it's a bit hard to swallow that Pitt allowed his to happen in a virtual home game. There were approximately 23 Tennessee fans in the crowd. Okay, maybe a few more than that, but you get the picture. No way Pitt should be beaten like this at home.

I am, however, also willing to concede that Pitt is most assuredly not the No. 3 team in the country. True, the Panthers have won a few nice games out of conference this season, but if today’s game showed anything, there’s still much work to be done. While Pitt ran into an incredibly hot Tennessee game today, things like free throws are things you can control even under such circumstances. The Panthers shot 60% from the stripe today.

And even though the other team is shooting well, that’s not reason for your bigs to go AWOL. 14 combined points from Gary McGhee, Talib Zanna, Dante Taylor, and Nasir Robinson? Really? Kurt Rambis called and he wants his game back. I know our frontcourt players aren’t necessarily the best at post moves, but man. That’s far too little production.

Pitt is still a pretty good team, but today’s game exposed plenty of weaknesses.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.