Game Recap (Men’s Basketball): Pitt vs Slippery Rock
By: Daniel Capuano
In the final tune-up before their season begins, Pitt defeated Slippery Rock 71 to 59 in the Shoot Down Cancer Exhibition Game. The Panthers were led by Junior transfer Jared Wilson-Frame who had 24 points on eight of 14 shooting including three of five from behind the arc. Along with Wilson-Frame, freshmen Shamiel Stevenson and Marcus Carr had 16 and 12 points respectively.
Even though the score may not indicate it, this game could not have gotten to a much worse start for Pitt. The Panthers got into massive foul trouble early racking up six in the first four minutes of the game. Also, both teams were unable to get anything going on offense early in this one with missed layups on both sides of the court. 10 minutes into the game, the Panthers were a horrible five of 20 shooting from the field and it seemed like nothing was working. A combination of Pitt’s poor performance and strong rebounding allowed the Rock to run out to an early lead.
The game started to turn back in Pitt’s favor on one of the most electric plays of the first half. At about the midway point, Stevenson drove down the right-hand side of the paint nearly unguarded and threw down a massive dunk sending the Oakland Zoo into a frenzy.
With about six minutes left in the half, Slippery Rock ran into foul trouble of their own and Pitt was able to take advantage due to strong shooting from the charity stripe. With three minutes left in the half, Wilson-Frame hit two free throws to give the Panthers their first lead of the game.
At the two-minute mark in the first half, Stevenson drove the lane attracting nearly the entire Slippery Rock defense leaving Wilson-Frame wide open in the corner for an easy three. Less than a minute later, Wilson-Frame hit another three (his third of the half) putting his first half point total up to 15. Heading into the half, Pitt held a 33 to 28 lead.
In the second half, the momentum of the game stayed in Pitt’s favor as the Panthers shot 47.8% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. Early in the half, the Panthers were led by Marcus Carr. On one of the first possessions, he dribbled around two defenders on his way to a wide-open layup. The very next time down the court, he found a cutting Wilson-Frame with an amazing pass from behind the arc for an easy layup and a chance for a three-point play. At this point, the Panthers’ held their largest lead of the game at 17 points.
At the eight-minute mark, Ryan Luther, who had been sidelined for most of the game with foul trouble, hit a massive three to extend the Panthers’ lead to 11. Things would remain the same for about five minutes until Slippery Rock mounted a final comeback. With five minutes to play, Slippery Rock forward Micah Till got a huge steal and was fouled on a layup but hit both his free throws. The Rock would score on their next two possessions including a crowd silencing three from Till. The score was 63 to 59 Panthers heading into the final media timeout.
Out of the timeout, all the momentum seemed to be in the Rock’s favor. However, Till’s three would be their last points of the game as Pitt went on an eight to nothing run to end it. The run was capped off by four points and a steal from Carr including a coast to coast layup.
Pitt will hope to ride this momentum into its regular season opener on the road against the Navy Midshipmen this Friday, November 10.