Pitt looks to right itself at Florida State

Pittsburgh travels to Tallahassee having lost two of its last three games to face Florida State Saturday.

Pittsburgh responded to its double-digit blowout at Louisville last week with a 23-point victory against Boston College Saturday. The Panthers head to Florida State looking for the same sort of vindication after a 78-61 loss to NC State Tuesday. 

Pitt (15-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has cooled since the Panthers won 10 games in a row prior to their loss at then-No. 21 Louisville. After a loss to the Wolfpack, now 1-5 in league play, Pitt again faces a team near the bottom of the conference but a talented one nonetheless. 

Florida State (12-6, 2-4 ACC) lost to Louisville, 84-65, Wednesday after it took down then-No. 13 Virginia last week at home. The Seminoles are 6-1 at the Donald L. Tucker Center this season.

Pitt is 10-3 all-time against Florida State but the Seminoles beat the Panthers 61-52 at home in the team's most recent meeting last March.

Michael Young still leads Pitt with averages of 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while Jamel Artis posts 16.1 points per game. Artis has hit double-digit scoring in his last 22 games against ACC opponents. 

James Robinson has struggled in his last four games, averaging 6.5 points per game on 24 percent shooting. After he had five turnovers to four assists in the games against Louisville and Boston College, he did post five assists against no turnovers Tuesay.

Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley form one of the nation's top freshman tandems for the Seminoles. Beasley leads the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game to rank fourth in the ACC, with Bacon a point behind at 16.4. 

Xavier Rathan-Mayes, one of the ACC's top returning players, is almost an afterthought behind the stellar rookies but scores 12.1 points and hands out a league-leading 5.3 assists per game. 

NC State outrebounded Pitt 46-30 Tuesday and the Panthers will again face a challenge on the boards as the Seminoles tote the 7-foot-3 Boris Bojanovsky and 7-foot-3 Chris Koumadje on the interior. But the Seminoles plus-3.3 average rebounding margin ranks near the bottom of the league while Pitt is second at plus-9.1.

The Panthers, whose 81.4 points per game are the third-best average in the ACC, were held to 102 total points between their losses to Louisville and NC State. Florida State is the second-worst defensive team in the league, allowing 73.6 points per game. 


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