Another road test for Pitt at Clemson

After pulling out a late win at Florida State Saturday, the Panthers face another road challenge at Clemson Wednesday.

Florida State led for all but about 6 1/2 minutes Saturday against Pitt. The Seminoles grabbed their first lead six minutes in and held it unitl Jamel Artis put the Panthers ahead for good with 33 seconds left to play. 

After that hard-fought victory, Pitt will need another to succeed where many other top teams have already failed this season.

Clemson has emerged as a surprise contender in the ACC with headline-making upset wins this month and are now just two games behind first-place North Carolina, tied with the Panthers for third in the conference. 

Pitt (16-3, 5-2) looks to stack wins after the Panthers dropped contests to No. 21 Louisville and NC State in a three-game stretch. A win against Clemson would also help cement Pitt in the upper echelon of the ACC early, lifting the Panthers above the glut of teams in which second place and 12th place are divided by only 3 games. 

Clemson (12-7, 5-2) posted an unimpressive 10-5 record in a less-than-challenging nonconference schedule, but beat No. 16 Louisville, No. 9 Duke and No. 8 Miami as part of a five-game winning streak to establish itself in the upper half of the league. The Panthers and Tigers are two of six 5-win teams in ACC play so far. 

Clemson will be well-rested for Wednesday's game after an 8-day layoff following the Tigers lost at No. 13 Virginia Jan. 19. The Tigers beat Pitt 71-62 at the Petersen Events Center in the team's lone meeting last season.

Jaron Blossomgame, in his third year as a starter, leads Clemson with averages of 16.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Donte Grantham averages 10.3 points per game while three other players score nine or more. 

Clemson is one of the lowest-scoring teams in the conference at 69.4 points per game, but the Tigers are also one of the nation's slowest-paced units. They average 64 possessions per 40 minutes, the ninth-least in the nation, but that pace makes the Tigers an efficient offensive team. 

Michael Young is still Pitt's top stat-getter at 16.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while Jamel Artis also posts 16.1 points per game. James Robinson

Sheldon Jeter, who missed Saturday's game at Florida State with a concussion suffered in practice, is clear to play Wednesday.


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