PITTSBURGH — No. 3 Pitt (10-1) dropped its first game of the season Saturday, losing to No. 11 Tennessee, 83-76, at Consol Energy Center.
Scotty Hopson scored a career-high 27 points for the Volunteers and Melvin Goins added 19, hitting 10-of-12 from the free throw line to ice the game as time wore down.
Tennessee controlled play and the game throughout, trailing only once for the opening 58 seconds. From there, Hopson scored 11 points to help build a 25-14 lead at the midway point of the first half. He would score 8 more before halftime and the Volunteers, who led by as many as 14 points in the opening frame, took a 37-25 lead in to the break.
Gilbert Brown came out hot for the Panthers to open the second half, scoring 7 points in the first five minutes and close the Tennessee lead to nine, 47-38, and force Bruce Pearl to call a timeout.
Out of that timeout, the Volunteers went on a 12-1 run and opened up a 20-point lead, 59-39, with 10:47 to play.
It took Pitt almost seven minutes to get the Tennessee lead back down to nine, and by then it was too late. Goins continually went to the line and made free throws — something Pitt could not do all afternoon, shooting 25-of-42 from the line.
Here’s what Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, Brad Wanamaker (21 points, 9 assists) and Brown (15 points) had to say after the game…
Wanamaker & Brown:
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog