Panthers continue stretch run at home vs. BC

Pitt and Boston College square off for the second time this season with the Panthers continuing to build their case for a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The first time Pittsburgh and Boston College met this season, the Panthers needed a late rally to force overtime in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where they escaped with a 61-60 victory.

Nearly two months later, Pitt can't afford to come so close to losing again with the Panthers' NCAA Tournament hopes on life support.

Pitt (18-10, 7-7 ACC) has won five of seven as Boston College (9-17, 1-13 ACC) visits the Petersen Events Center, and has improved its RPI rating to No. 36 in the country over that span.

The Eagles ride an eight-game losing streak into Pittsburgh, with their only conference win coming Jan. 25 at Georgia Tech by two points, 64-62. But they nearly had another one weeks earlier when Boston College led Pitt by 10 with three minutes to go in regulation, then by five in overtime before blowing each advantage.

Boston College's visit Tuesday night marks the first time Pitt hosts the Eagles since Jan. 28, 2004, their last season as Big East members.

The Eagles are led by Olivier Hanlan, the league's leading scorer at 18.7 points per game on the season. Hanlan also leads all scorers in conference play with his average of 21.3 points per game and is a candidate for ACC Player of the Year.

Prior to Boston College's loss Saturday against No. 10 Notre Dame, Hanlan recorded back-to-back 32-point games against Florida State and Miami.

Alongside Hanlan, graduate transfer Aaron Brown provides a scoring boost in the backcourt for the Eagles. After leaving Southern Mississippi to play out his final year of eligibility, Brown is averaging 15.1 points per game and posted a career-high 28 against Louisville Jan. 28.

In the paint, 7-foot center Dennis Clifford leads the Eagles with 5.1 rebounds alongside 7.2 points per game. Patrick Heckmann is the team's second-leading rebounder with 4.5 per game and averages 8.1 points per contest.

The Eagles are one of the conference's worst defensive teams as they allow 67.6 points per game, the ACC's third-highest average. They are one of three teams among those in the ACC with a negative scoring margin, getting outscored by an average of 2.7 points per game.

But the Panthers' defense hasn't been much better, as they are tied with Boston College for the worst field goal percentage allowed among ACC teams at 44.8 percent yielded.

Pitt has allowed its opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field 10 times this season, but the defense has been better of late as the Panthers held No. 2 Virginia and Syracuse around 43 percent in their last two games.

Unlike most seasons, the story of this Pitt team is on the offensive end where the Panthers average 68 points per game on 45 percent shooting. While Pitt's scoring average is ninth in the league, its Offensive Rating of 113.6 points scored per 100 possessions ranks 16th in the nation and fourth among ACC teams.

Jamel Artis leads the Panthers with 13.1 points per game and has averaged 18.5 in his last 12 contests. Mike Young anchors the paint with his averages of 12.8 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

Chris Jones comes off a 19-point game against Syracuse where he made 5-of-6 3-point tries, while Sheldon Jeter has posted 12.4 points per game in his last five after breaking out with 18 against Syracuse Feb. 7.

For the Panthers to bolster their chances at making the NCAA Tournament, and making any noise in the postseason at all, the defense must begin to match the offense. Pitt has a good chance to do so against Boston College, but can't afford to come as close to losing as it did the first time around.


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The first time Pittsburgh and Boston College met this season, the Panthers needed a late rally to force overtime in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where they escaped with a 61-60 victory.

\r\n

Nearly two months later, Pitt can't afford to come so close to losing again with the Panthers' NCAA Tournament hopes on life support.

\r\n

Pitt (18-10, 7-7 ACC) has won five of seven as Boston College (9-17, 1-13 ACC) visits the Petersen Events Center, and has improved its RPI rating to No. 36 in the country over that span.

\r\n

The Eagles ride an eight-game losing streak into Pittsburgh, with their only conference win coming Jan. 25 at Georgia Tech by two points, 64-62. But they nearly had another one weeks earlier when Boston College led Pitt by 10 with three minutes to go in regulation, then by five in overtime before blowing each advantage.

\r\n

Boston College's visit Tuesday night marks the first time Pitt hosts the Eagles since Jan. 28, 2004, their last season as Big East members.

\r\n

The Eagles are led by Olivier Hanlan, the league's leading scorer at 18.7 points per game on the season. Hanlan also leads all scorers in conference play with his average of 21.3 points per game and is a candidate for ACC Player of the Year.

\r\n

Prior to Boston College's loss Saturday against No. 10 Notre Dame, Hanlan recorded back-to-back 32-point games against Florida State and Miami.

\r\n

Alongside Hanlan, graduate transfer Aaron Brown provides a scoring boost in the backcourt for the Eagles. After leaving Southern Mississippi to play out his final year of eligibility, Brown is averaging 15.1 points per game and posted a career-high 28 against Louisville Jan. 28.

\r\n

In the paint, 7-foot center Dennis Clifford leads the Eagles with 5.1 rebounds alongside 7.2 points per game. Patrick Heckmann is the team's second-leading rebounder with 4.5 per game and averages 8.1 points per contest.

\r\n

The Eagles are one of the conference's worst defensive teams as they allow 67.6 points per game, the ACC's third-highest average. They are one of three teams among those in the ACC with a negative scoring margin, getting outscored by an average of 2.7 points per game.

\r\n

But the Panthers' defense hasn't been much better, as they are tied with Boston College for the worst field goal percentage allowed among ACC teams at 44.8 percent yielded.

\r\n

Pitt has allowed its opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field 10 times this season, but the defense has been better of late as the Panthers held No. 2 Virginia and Syracuse around 43 percent in their last two games.

\r\n

Unlike most seasons, the story of this Pitt team is on the offensive end where the Panthers average 68 points per game on 45 percent shooting. While Pitt's scoring average is ninth in the league, its Offensive Rating of 113.6 points scored per 100 possessions ranks 16th in the nation and fourth among ACC teams.

\r\n

Jamel Artis leads the Panthers with 13.1 points per game and has averaged 18.5 in his last 12 contests. Mike Young anchors the paint with his averages of 12.8 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

\r\n

Chris Jones comes off a 19-point game against Syracuse where he made 5-of-6 3-point tries, while Sheldon Jeter has posted 12.4 points per game in his last five after breaking out with 18 against Syracuse Feb. 7.

\r\n

For the Panthers to bolster their chances at making the NCAA Tournament, and making any noise in the postseason at all, the defense must begin to match the offense. Pitt has a good chance to do so against Boston College, but can't afford to come as close to losing as it did the first time around.

","mobileBody":"Follow @NateBarnes_ Follow @PantherDigest

The first time Pittsburgh and Boston College met this season, the Panthers needed a late rally to force overtime in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where they escaped with a 61-60 victory.

Nearly two months later, Pitt can't afford to come so close to losing again with the Panthers' NCAA Tournament hopes on life support.

Pitt (18-10, 7-7 ACC) has won five of seven as Boston College (9-17, 1-13 ACC) visits the Petersen Events Center, and has improved its RPI rating to No. 36 in the country over that span.

The Eagles ride an eight-game losing streak into Pittsburgh, with their only conference win coming Jan. 25 at Georgia Tech by two points, 64-62. But they nearly had another one weeks earlier when Boston College led Pitt by 10 with three minutes to go in regulation, then by five in overtime before blowing each advantage.

Boston College's visit Tuesday night marks the first time Pitt hosts the Eagles since Jan. 28, 2004, their last season as Big East members.

The Eagles are led by Olivier Hanlan, the league's leading scorer at 18.7 points per game on the season. Hanlan also leads all scorers in conference play with his average of 21.3 points per game and is a candidate for ACC Player of the Year.

Prior to Boston College's loss Saturday against No. 10 Notre Dame, Hanlan recorded back-to-back 32-point games against Florida State and Miami.

Alongside Hanlan, graduate transfer Aaron Brown provides a scoring boost in the backcourt for the Eagles. After leaving Southern Mississippi to play out his final year of eligibility, Brown is averaging 15.1 points per game and posted a career-high 28 against Louisville Jan. 28.

In the paint, 7-foot center Dennis Clifford leads the Eagles with 5.1 rebounds alongside 7.2 points per game. Patrick Heckmann is the team's second-leading rebounder with 4.5 per game and averages 8.1 points per contest.

The Eagles are one of the conference's worst defensive teams as they allow 67.6 points per game, the ACC's third-highest average. They are one of three teams among those in the ACC with a negative scoring margin, getting outscored by an average of 2.7 points per game.

But the Panthers' defense hasn't been much better, as they are tied with Boston College for the worst field goal percentage allowed among ACC teams at 44.8 percent yielded.

Pitt has allowed its opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field 10 times this season, but the defense has been better of late as the Panthers held No. 2 Virginia and Syracuse around 43 percent in their last two games.

Unlike most seasons, the story of this Pitt team is on the offensive end where the Panthers average 68 points per game on 45 percent shooting. While Pitt's scoring average is ninth in the league, its Offensive Rating of 113.6 points scored per 100 possessions ranks 16th in the nation and fourth among ACC teams.

Jamel Artis leads the Panthers with 13.1 points per game and has averaged 18.5 in his last 12 contests. Mike Young anchors the paint with his averages of 12.8 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

Chris Jones comes off a 19-point game against Syracuse where he made 5-of-6 3-point tries, while Sheldon Jeter has posted 12.4 points per game in his last five after breaking out with 18 against Syracuse Feb. 7.

For the Panthers to bolster their chances at making the NCAA Tournament, and making any noise in the postseason at all, the defense must begin to match the offense. Pitt has a good chance to do so against Boston College, but can't afford to come as close to losing as it did the first time around.

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