Pittsburgh opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 68-60 win over North Carolina State on Friday in Raleigh.
Jamarius Burton had a game-high 24 points for the Panthers (6-3, 1-0 ACC) who have won five straight overall after a 1-3 start to the season.
Blake Hinson added 13 points for Pittsburgh, while Nike Sibande had 10 points off the bench.
Terquavion Smith led North Carolina State (7-2, 0-1 ACC) with 15 points. DJ Burns Jr. added 13 points off the bench for the Wolfpack, who had a three-game win streak snapped and lost for the second time this season.
Pittsburgh had a sharp shooting night converting at a 46.3 percent clip from the field (25-for-54) while North Carolina State shot just 35.0 percent from the field. The Wolfpack were particularly cold from beyond the 3-point arc, where they shot just 6-for-27.
The biggest difference in the game was the offensive struggles for Jarkel Joiner. The North Carolina State guard had entered the game averaging 17.3 points per game, but only scored one point, a free throw, on a night where he attempted and missed 12 shots, including seven 3-pointers, from the field. Joiner’s prior season-low was seven points, which had come in a Wolfpack blowout win against Elon.
Pittsburgh took the lead late in the first half, 29-28, on a layup by Federiko Federiko with 2:33 remaining and never looked back. Pittsburgh led 33-28 at halftime and with its consistent shooting, comfortably held the advantage in the second half.
North Carolina State was seemingly in striking distance with 13:08 remaining, it was 45-41 at the time, but Pittsburgh responded with an eight-point run to maintain its comfortable advantage.
North Carolina State hosts Coppin State on Tuesday, Pittsburgh visits Vanderbilt on Wednesday as both teams return to non-conference action. Pittsburgh’s next ACC game is Dec. 20 against Syracuse, while North Carolina State will play Miami in ACC play on Dec. 10.
–Field Level Media