Courtesy of North Carolina A&T Athletics
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – North Carolina A&T had trouble hitting shots in the first half, and the Pittsburgh Panthers took advantage as the Aggies men’s basketball team lost its season debut 100-52 at the Petersen Events Center Monday night.
Monday marked Monté Ross’ head coaching debut for A&T as he paced the sideline as a head for the first time in seven years after leading the Delaware Blue Hens for 10 seasons. Meanwhile, Pitt, out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), shot an incredible 56.3 percent from the floor in earning the win.
Coached by Jeff Capel III, the son of former A&T head coach Jeff Capel Jr., jumped out to a 9-0 lead. A&T seemed to gather themselves, as the Aggies got a bucket from guard Camian Shell, a 3-pointer from freshman forward Nikolaos Chitikoudis and two free throws from Landon Glasper to go into the first media timeout trailing 13-6.
But the Panthers scored five straight points out of the timeout before graduate forward Jeremy Robinson hit a three to cut the Panthers lead to 18-9. It was all Panthers from there as they went on a 15-2 run to take a 22-point lead. The Aggies went 1-for-9 from the floor during the Panthers’ spurt, as Pitt blocked three shots along the way.
Pitt ended the half on a 15-0 run to take a 50-15 lead into the locker room. A&T shot 14.3 percent in the first half, as many open looks would not fall. A&T got into a better rhythm from the floor in the second half, shooting 40 percent from the field in the second half. But the Panthers countered by shooting 58.3 percent in the second half.
Junior point guard Kyle Duke came off the bench to score 15 points, grab six rebounds and dish out two assists on 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. A&T also got double figures off the bench from Uchenna Kellman-Nicholes, who had 12 points and three assists in his Aggies debut.
Pitt put five players in double figures, led by Carlton Carrington’s 18-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double on 7-for-12 shooting. The Aggies will play Game No. 2 on Friday as they return home to play in the Greensboro Coliseum against Gate City rival UNC Greensboro.
Next Game: at UNC Greensboro 11/10/2023 | 7:00 P.M