Panthers look for first ranked victory at No. 12 Miami

Pitt plays its first of two road games this week at No. 12 Miami Tuesday night, where the Panthers look for their first win of the season against a ranked team.

Each of Pitt's losses so far has been met with a victory in the succeeding game. A sign of a good team, no doubt, but the Panthers face their stiffest challenge in keeping said streak alive with a matchup at No. 12 Miami Tuesday. 

Pitt is 0-3 against ranked teams this season. The Panthers fell to No. 21 Louisville on the road, and dropped contests to No. 11 Purdue and No. 9 Virginia at home

The Panthers find themselves amidst a course of three consecutive games against ranked teams, and they failed the first test in a 64-50 loss to No. 9 Virginia Saturday. Pitt shot below 40 percent for the fourth time in five games while the Cavaliers dissected Pitt's defense to the tune of 48 percent shooting and a 9 of 16 effort from 3-point range. 

Pitt follows its trip to Miami with a visit to No. 2 North Carolina Saturday. A win Tuesday could help Pitt from tumbling below the middle of the ACC pack, which currently features 10 teams within three games of one another. 

Head coach Jamie Dixon continues to stress defense to his players, and Pitt (17-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) will need it to beat the Hurricanes. Miami ranks sixth in the league scoring 78.6 points per game and shoots 48 percent from the field on the season. 

Miami (18-4, 7-3 ACC) sits a game ahead of Pitt in the conference table and a victory in Coral Gables, Fla., would join Pitt with other seven teams which own at least seven league wins. 

Sheldon McClellan leads the Hurricanes at 16.4 points per game and his 53.7 percent clip from the field tops all ACC guards. McClellan has shot 12 of 15 in two games this month and hit all four of his 3-point attempts. 

McClellan is flanked by Ja'Quan Newton and Angel Rodriguez in the backcourt who averages 12 and 11 points per game, respectively. Rodriguez leads the Hurricanes with 4.2 assists per game while guard Davon Reed adds 10.5 points per game. Tonye Jekiri anchors the post with 9.8 rebounds per game, the ACC's fifth-best average.

Michael Young continues to lead Pitt with 16.8 points per game on 56 percent shooting and 6.8 rebounds per game. Jamel Artis is behind him at 15.5 points per game. 

James Robinson has struggled of late from the field for Pitt. His season scoring average dropped below double-digits as he failed to reach double-digits in six of his last eight games and shot 26 percent in that span. 

Robinson comes off a scoreless, 0 for 7 shooting performance in Saturday's loss to the Cavaliers. In the Panthers' four ACC losses this season, Robinson has been held to 4.5 points per game on 16 percent shooting. 

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