There was only one time the Panthers made you feel like the game was in reach in their 71-63 loss to No. 1 Syracuse and that was when Talib Zanna knocked down a 10-foot jumper to bring Pittsburgh to within four points (53-49).
Aside from that, the game was never really in doubt because of the constant nine-point deficit.
Say what you will, but the Panthers played horribly yet still gave themselves an opportunity in the second half.
They shot less than 40 percent from the floor, missed 11 free throws, missed countless two-footers, Ashton Gibbs went 4-12 for 10 points and their “point guard” had zero assists to go along with zero points.
So was it actually a victory? They played poorly but still had an opportunity to win. I think that says something.
Pittsburgh is 11-8 this season with a home game against Louisville on Saturday night. Both teams are struggling, but the Panthers have to be feeling confident about their game against Syracuse.
With Tray Woodall possibly returning to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game, it’s now or never for the Panthers.