The Pitt Panthers had a couple of days to think about their worst performance of the season in a loss against Louisville Thursday night.
Luckily for the Panthers it was a quick turnaround as Pitt bounced back nicely with a dominating 84-61 victory of Boston College.
Jamel Artis led four Pitt scorers in double figures with 22. Cameron Johnson chipped in 20 off the bench while Michael Young added 13 and James Robinson 10 for the Panthers.
No. 20 Pitt (15-2, 4-1 ACC) bounced back shooting the ball from the floor. After making just 28.6 percent of their shot attempts Thursday night, shot 58 percent from the floor on Saturday.
“You have to see how you handle adversity,” said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. “I wanted to see how we would bounce back. We had a good day of practice yesterday. We didn’t even talk about the Louisville game. It was on to the next opponent. We came out nicely. I liked the spacing and the passing especially. We did a lot of things well today.”
Boston College (7-10, 0-4) was led in scoring by Eli Carter with 31.
Wake up the offense- After a dreadful performance from the floor Thursday against Louisville, the Panthers started shooting the ball cold, but Artis helped them wake up. A pair of early three’s from Artis helped spark a 15-2 Pitt run over a 5:14 span that gave the Panthers an early 17-12 advantage.
Pitt trailed by as many as eight early in the first half, but ended up leading by as many as nine.
In what was more like a normal performance for this Panthers team, Pitt shot 61 percent from the floor in the first half, taking a 43-36 lead into the locker room.
Artis scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half, while Young scored nine during the first 20 minutes of play. BC’s Eli Carter kept the Eagles in the game scoring 18 of his 31 points in the first half.
“We buried Thursday’s tape,” Johnson said. “We didn’t want to watch it. We just started focusing on BC. Coach stresses that it is all about how you bounce back. His message was great teams lose. It happens to everybody. Great teams come out and bounce back though and I thought we did that today.”
Getting it done from downtown: Pitt, who made just 1-of-11, from behind the arc against Louisville, made 10-of 19 (53 percent) shots from three-point range in the win.
Artis made 4-of-6 attempts from behind the arc, while Johnson connected on 4-of-7 attempts to lead the Pitt attack.
“There was a lot of space out there,” Johnson said. “We had a lot of success being able to penetrate and kick the ball out to our shooters and we knocked down some shots today.”
Break Out Performance: Johnson, a Moon Twp. native, played 15 minutes off the bench with Chris Jones mostly unavailable nursing an injury.
The result was 15 minutes off the bench for Johnson and a career-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
“Cameron is doing a lot of things well,” Dixon said. “Today it was his turn to step up. Next time out it will be someone else’s. He has some things he still needs to work on like rebounding and defending. He’s much better than when he got here, but there’s still work to do. He just has to let things come to him. He has a great attitude and a great future.”
Johnson’s performance helped the Pitt bench outscore BC’s 33-6.
“I am always ready to go in when coach calls my number,” Johnson said. “Whenever I get put in I am going to do my best. It felt good today. I got a good warmup in today so I was feeling good out there. It was nice to get in a rhythm.”
Carrying the Load: BC tried to stay in the game, mostly on the shoulders of Carter. The Eagles made just 23 field goals on the afternoon, 12 of which belonged to Carter, on 22 attempts. He also connected on 5-of-11 attempts from behind the arc.
But other than Dennis Clifford, who added 12 points for BC, there wasn’t much offense to be found.
“He’s a great shooter,” said Pitt point guard Damon Wilson. “Great shooters are going to get theirs. We just had to make sure no one else was going to beat us and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
Crashing the Glass: Pitt got back to crashing the glass, outrebounding the Eagles 34-17 on the afternoon.
Rafael Maia led with eight rebounds while Young and Sheldon Jeter added five boards each.
Not valuing the basketball: Of all the things that went Pitt’s way in the win, the one thing that sticks out as a negative is the Panthers committed 17 turnovers which led to 26 BC points.
“You can’t be perfect for 40 minutes,” Dixon said. “There are some things we need to get cleaned up and do better and the turnovers really stick out.”
Up Next: Pitt will be back in action Tuesday night when it plays host to North Carolina State at the Petersen Events Center. Tip-off is schedule for 8 p.m. EST.
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