Pitt is looking to accomplish two things on Saturday afternoon when it visits Florida State for an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Tallahassee, Fla.
One will be to retain a spot at the top of the standings, where the Panthers (17-7, 10-3 ACC) are tied with Clemson and Virginia.
Pitt’s other motivation will be to earn some payback against the Seminoles (8-17, 6-8), who handed the Panthers one of their most costly defeats of the season at home on Jan. 21.
“Anything you can use as extra motivation this time of year is helpful,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. “It should be. I mean, they came in here and beat us. So, hopefully, we want to go down there and beat them.”
The Panthers will arrive in Tallahassee on a four-game winning streak and coming off a 91-57 victory at home against Louisville.
Pitt did so with another balanced effort on the scoring end as five players scored in double figures, led by Nike Sibande’s 15 points.
Jamarius Burton (15.9 points per game) and Blake Hinson (15.6) continue to pace the Panthers in scoring.
Nelly Cummings, who struggled the first time Pitt played Florida State, going 2-for-12 from the field, is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 assists over the past four games.
The Seminoles are coming off a 76-67 loss Wednesday to Syracuse and have lost four of their past five.
Matthew Cleveland finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, Darin Green Jr. had 17 points and Naheem McLeod posted one of his best games of the season with 16 points and eight rebounds against the Orange.
Florida State was outscored 47-32 in the second half and 21-11 over the game’s final nine minutes.
“I felt like we had the same opportunities we had in the first half as we did in the second,” Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We just didn’t execute well enough to get those opportunities.”
Cleveland (14.4) and Green (14.1) are the leading scorers for Florida State, which is just 5-8 at home this season.
–Field Level Media