Blake Hinson Scores 27 As Pitt Ends 23-Game Home Winning Streak For No. 21 Virginia, 74-63

Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel yells to players during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Virginia on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Kropf)
Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel yells to players during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Virginia on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Kropf)
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Blake Hinson scored 27 points and made five of Pittsburgh's 14 3-pointers, and the surging Panthers ended No. 21 Virginia's nation's-best 23-game home winning streak, 74-63 on Tuesday night.

Hinson had 18 points after halftime and Jaland Lowe finished with 12 for the Panthers (16-8, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their fourth straight and sixth of seven, continuing their push into NCAA Tournament consideration.

“We're learning to love the fight,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said after his team's fifth ACC road win since January, and second against a ranked team. The first, 80-76 at No. 7 Duke on Jan. 20, snapped a 24-game losing streak against ranked foes.

“Earlier in conference play, you know ... we have several guys I should say that play a lot of minutes for us that had never gone through the gauntlet of the ACC, and we played hard, but we didn’t understand how to fight,” Capel said.

The Panthers finished with just eight turnovers, leading to four Virginia points.

“Our guys did a good job. We were greedy receivers. Guys came to the basketball when there was pressure and we were able to make plays,” Capel said.

Reece Beekman led Virginia (19-6, 10-4) with 19 points, but the Cavaliers' normally stout defense couldn't slow Pittsburgh, which took 32 of its 58 shots from beyond the 3-point line. Virginia's eight-game winning streak also ended, along with its 48-game string of holding ACC opponents under 70 points at home.

“They're a hard guard,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “They were prepared. They were tough. They were physical. I thought we really had a hard time handling their ball screens.”

The Panthers trailed 49-47 before Hinson's 3-pointer sparked a 17-5 run that included two more 3s by Hinson and one by Lowe. Pitt led 64-54 with 6:30 to play and Virginia couldn't make a dent the rest of the way.

Bennett hopes his team's recent run of winning can help bolster its confidence more than seeing all those streaks end can damage it.

“Even when we were in this stretch or winning games, you always begin again. Every game, every practice, you start over and say, all right, are we willing to, you know, lay it on the line and be as tough-minded as we can,” he said. “You don’t want success to soften you. You don’t want losing to discourage you.”

The opening 10 minutes were crisp, with neither team committing a turnover and the Panthers leading 22-18. Virginia used a 16-6 run to take a 31-30 lead, holding Pitt scoreless for 4:20, before the Panthers scored the last five of the half.

“We kind of drifted apart on both sides of the ball and that hurt us,” Beekman said. "So, you know, you just got to learn to stick together and, you know, do what we do.”

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: The Panthers found success against the 15th-ranked 3-point defense in the country. Pitt leads the ACC with an average of 9.13 3s per game and made its ninth 18 seconds into the second half.

Virginia: The Cavaliers, playing as an AP Top 25 team for the first time since Dec. 19 at Memphis, haven't lasted more than a week in the poll in either of their two prior visits this year. They were No. 24 when they lost 65-41 to Wisconsin in a Florida tournament and No. 22 when they were beaten 77-54 at Memphis. All six of their losses this season have come by double figures.

UP NEXT

The Panthers return home to face Louisville on Saturday.

Virginia remains at home and faces Wake Forest on Saturday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball