Pitt falls behind, 21-1, loses

PITTSBURGH — Starting out a basketball game with a 20-point lead is a good way to win and an easy way to lose.

Georgia Tech opened with 13 unanswered points and went on a 21-1 run against Pittsburgh to win 69-54 on Saturday afternoon.

After the initial 13-point onslaught, Pitt made one free throw, but the Yellow Jackets went right back to scoring, extending their lead to 21-1 before the Panthers made a field goal.

A 20-0 start to a game is rare for any team, but for a Georgia Tech squad plagued by inconsistency, it was an especially rare outcome.

“Normally, we don’t do that,” center Ben Lammers said. “We have gotten better at starting, but we’ve never had a start like that. It was nice to have that 20-point cushion and be on the winning side of that.”

After a 14-2 Pitt run in the middle of the first half closed the gap, the Yellow Jackets again came out strong after halftime. Abdoulaye Gueye made two baskets as part of a 9-2 run and finished with a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds.

Lammers scored 11 points with 16 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. Georgia Tech (10-7, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated on the inside, outrebounding the Panthers 39-20 and outscoring them in the paint 40-16.

Pitt (8-10, 0-4) got within 10 points in the second half, but after Shamiel Stevenson missed a layup, Georgia Tech rattled off 13 straight points.

“I don’t know what it was, but we spent the rest of the day trying to claw back and make a game from it,” Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings said of his team’s slow start. “It’s my responsibility to have them ready to play from the start and we weren’t ready to go.”

Stevenson and Jared Wilson-Frame each scored nine points for the Panthers.

GEORGIA TECH (10-7): Gueye 7-8 2-2 16, Lammers 4-9 3-6 11, Okogie 3-6 6-6 12, Alston 2-7 0-0 5, Alvarado 3-7 2-3 10, Wright 0-1 0-0 0, Jester 0-0 0-0 0, Ogbonda 0-0 0-0 0, Cole 1-2 0-0 2, Schafer 0-0 0-0 0, Rice 0-0 0-0 0, Haywood 0-4 0-0 0, Jackson 6-11 1-2 13. Totals 26-55 14-19 69.

PITTSBURGH (8-10): Chukwuka 2-2 1-3 6, Stewart 1-3 2-3 5, Carr 3-7 2-2 8, Wilson-Frame 2-9 3-3 9, Stevenson 3-8 3-4 9, George 0-0 0-1 0, T.Brown 0-1 1-2 1, Ilegomah 0-1 0-0 0, Milligan 2-2 1-1 5, Davis 1-2 0-0 2, Boykins 3-7 1-3 9. Totals 17-42 14-22 54.

Halftime–Georgia Tech 40-29. 3-Point Goals–Georgia Tech 3-15 (Alvarado 2-6, Alston 1-3, Okogie 0-1, Cole 0-1, Haywood 0-4), Pittsburgh 6-14 (Boykins 2-4, Wilson-Frame 2-5, Chukwuka 1-1, Stewart 1-3, Carr 0-1). Fouled Out–Ilegomah, Gueye. Rebounds–Georgia Tech 38 (Lammers 16), Pittsburgh 18 (Stevenson 5). Assists–Georgia Tech 15 (Alston 5), Pittsburgh 8 (Carr 3). Total Fouls–Georgia Tech 19, Pittsburgh 18. Technicals–Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings. A–3,544 (12,508).

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