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Hoyas Nipped By Ailing Pitt Panthers, 69-60

Pittsburgh, PA–

After defeating Connecticut in dramatic fashion this past Saturday at Verizon Center, tonight the Hoyas looked anything but dramatic as they let a banged up Pitt Panthers team take advantage of them all night long in a 69-60 loss.

“Maybe we had fewer players, but I didn’t hear anybody talking about getting ready for next season,” Panthers Head Coah Jamie Dixon said. “We knew we still had to get better, we still had to get stuff done.”

Pitt was led by a charged Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin, who tallied 18 points each in roles that normally would be left for players like Levance Fields and Mike Cook. But with both players out after injuries last month Pitt has yet to give up on this season.

“Clearly, losing the two guys that they did was key, but their talent level is extremely high,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “The guys that now are playing more minutes seem a lot more comfortable out there.”

For the Hoyas, tonight it seemed like they just did not have their offense flowing like they normally would either inside of the paint with the presene of Roy Hibbert or from the outside with players like Jonathan Wallace or Jessie Sapp.

Both Wallace and Sapp combined for a 7 for 18 effort from the field.

The Hoyas had a little spark to end the first half at the buzzer when Jonathan Wallace launched a half court shot that hit the bottom of the net at the buzzer sending the Hoyas to the locker room down by one 27-26.

The Hoyas scored eight consecutive points to get within 47-44 as Patrick Ewing Jr. dunked off Jeremiah Rivers’ miss and drove for a layup on consecutive possessions. But Blair’s three-point play with 8:31 left pushed Pitt’s lead back to six, and Benjamin drove the lane to score the next time down and make it 52-44.

The Panthers are 4-1 against top five teams with four consecutive wins at home with Dixon on their staff as either an assistant or head coach. Pitt hadn’t beaten a team ranked as highly as Georgetown at home since defeating No. 4 Syracuse 76-69 on Jan. 29, 2005.

The chants of overrated from the Pitt fans might have the Hoyas rethinking their offensive strategy as they will likely see Pitt again in the Big East tournament and if they continue to struggle like they did tonight, some of the remaining Big East games will likely be a challenge for John Thompson III’s troops.

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