Led by Carlton Carrington’s 19 points, Pittsburgh had four players in double figures and, by and large, controlled the narrative of Tuesday’s matchup inside McCamish Pavilion, winning 72-64 over Georgia Tech.

Outside of a few minutes of brilliance to start the second half, the Yellow Jackets (9-10, 2-6 ACC) were rather lackluster and aloof for much of the evening in suffering a second straight loss. They shot 39.3% for the game and had as many turnovers (13) as assists.

Pitt shot 48% and made 16 free throws. Ishmael Leggett added 14 for the Panthers (12-7, 3-5) and Jaland Lowe and Guillermo Diaz Graham each had 12.

“I think they did a good job tonight of just maintaining their lead once they got it,” Tech’s Kowacie Reeves said. “For us, on the offensive end, it’s all stuff that we can just get better at as players, myself included.”

Tech got 17 points and eight rebounds out of freshman center Baye Ndongo. Reeves scored 15, Kyle Sturdivant added 14 and Nait George chipped in 10. Leading scorer Miles Kelly went scoreless for just the eighth time in his career and for the first time since Feb. 19, 2022 at Pitt.

The Jackets have lost four home games in a row – they haven’t dropped five straight in McCamish Pavilion since 2019-20.

Tech heads to Virginia Tech (12-7, 4-4 ACC) for a 5 p.m. game Saturday.

“We gotta figure out a way to sustain our energy, our effort and our play. Right now it’s too rollercoaster,” Tech coach Damon Stoudamire said. “We gotta just figure it out in terms of what we want out of this. I’m not alright with losing at all. But I’m gonna get better, I’m gonna continue to teach, I’m gonna continue to fight for everything that I need to fight for in terms of trying to protect the program and do the right thing.

“Why does it have to be big picture when if you just execute the game plan it can be today? That for me is where I sit. This is about the fourth or fifth time I’ve come up here and it’s the same thing. At some point, you gotta get tired of it.”

Georgia Tech head coach Damon Stoudamire shouts instructions during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion, Tuesday, January 23, 2024, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)


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Tech trailed by four at the halftime buzzer, playing 20 minutes of basketball better soon to be forgotten. The Jackets missed 21 shots and shot 32.3%, had just three assists and trailed for the final 15:13 of the period.

The second half started with a clearly different game plan from Stoudamire and company, a game plan that began with a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Ndongo who scored four straight (two from the line followed by a jumper in the paint). Reeves hit a 3 from the left corner on a fastbreak after that putting Tech on top 34-31.

Tech’s advantage reached six a little more than seven minutes into the half when Reeves finished a reverse dunk to ignite the crowd and his teammates.

But the Panthers responded with nine in a row, a run capped off by Diaz Graham, left open at the top of the key, making a 3. That forced a despondent Stoudamire to call a timeout with 11:15 on the clock.

Tech never recovered.

Lowe’s 3 from the left corner – another wide-open shot for the Panthers – put Pitt up 64-55, a margin too far out of reach for the home team with 2:58 remaining in regulation.

Tech led for less than 10 minutes in the loss and missed eight layups.

“Our guys were tough, man. We stepped up and made plays,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. “We didn’t get off to a good start in the second half. I was really proud of the fact that we changed it right away after the timeout. We got back to playing with the force, the toughness and the togetherness that’s necessary for us to be a good basketball team.”


  • Tech is 12-9 all-time against Pittsburgh and 7-3 against the Panthers at home.
  • The Jackets have played 14 games this season decided by 10 points or less.
  • The Jackets are 2-7 this season when trailing at halftime, 3-10 trailing at the 5-minute mark, 1-6 when scoring less than 70 points and 1-8 when shooting a poorer percentage than the opponent.
  • Attendance on Tuesday was announced as 3,612, giving Tech an average of 4,535 fans per game after 10 home games this season.