PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – If the Pitt Panthers have any chance of making the NCAA Tournament, they are going to have to win the Big East Tournament.
Any chance of an at-large bid basically went out the window after a 56-47 loss to the University of South Florida Sunday night.
Pitt (15-13, 4-11 Big East) is now mired in a four-game losing streak, with two of those losses coming at the hands of USF.
J.J. Moore pulled the Panthers to within three at 42-39 with 9:26 remaining in the contest. However, it was as close as the Panthers would get in the contest.
Anthony Collins chipped in a career-high 22 points to lead the Bulls to victory. With the win, USF has locked up their first winning season in the Big East since joining the conference in 2005.
The game did not start well for Pitt as they hit just one of their first 12 shots and fell behind 15-4.
Pitt was able to get back in the game and eventually tied it at 22-22. They took their first lead of the game at 27-26 after Moore connected from three-point land with 1:43 left in the first half.
However, USF responded and took a slim 28-27 lead into the half.
The second half was abysmal for Pitt in terms of shooting, as they were just 9 of 30 from the field. They also missed all seven of their three-point attempts in the second half.
It was a game Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall would like to soon forget. The duo combined for just four points on 2-of-11 of shooting from the field.
Pitt’s chances of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament were put on life support after back-to-back losses to Seton Hall and West Virginia last week.
The Panthers will now head on the road to take on No. 18 Louisville (21-6, 9-5 Big East) at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26.
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