Boston College tops Pitt 81-58 for elusive ACC road win
PITTSBURGH (AP) Coming into Tuesday's game at Pittsburgh, Boston College had gone nearly three years without a victory on the road against an Atlantic Coast Conference foe.
The last time the Eagles won a road conference game was March 3, 2015, at Virginia Tech. Starting with the Eagles' 0-18 season in conference play in 2015-16, they lost 23 straight games against ACC opponents before finding another team down on its luck in the Panthers.
Boston College upended Pitt, 81-58, to end one streak and perpetuate another, as the Panthers lost their 14th straight game in conference play.
''We're not that team anymore,'' Boston College head coach Jim Christian said after the victory. ''We've been close. We had Virginia to one. We were down 18 at Louisville and cut it to two. We've showed signs, but that last step has got to be taken by these guys, together.''
Despite Pitt's struggles and the lopsided final score, it wasn't an easy victory for the Eagles (16-10, 6-7 in ACC). Pitt opened up a big lead midway through the first half. The Panthers were ahead by 15 at one point and had Eagles' star Jerome Robinson off his game and in foul trouble with three early personals.
With Robinson struggling and the hapless Panthers out to a big lead, it would have been easy for the Eagles to accept another defeat, but they instead doubled down on their leading scorer, moving him to the middle of Pitt's 2-3 zone and working the offense from there.
It worked, as Boston College went on a long run late in the first half that nearly erased the Pitt advantage by halftime. From the 6:42 mark in, the Eagles went on a 16-4 run to close to within two. Early second half, it was more of the same, as the Eagles started with a 9-0 run to take a lead they never relinquished.
''Catching it in the high post, I knew I had the five man on me a lot,'' Robinson said. ''Once I got a couple easy jump shots in the middle, I got to be able to take it to the paint.''
Robinson led the way with 27 points. Jordan Chatman added 17 points, helped by 5-of-12 shooting from 3-point range.
Freshman guard Parker Stewart had 16 points to lead the Panthers (8-19, 0-14 in ACC).
Boston College: Robinson, the Eagles' leading scorer, had just two points at the half, but was a big part of the Eagles' second-half run. After shooting 1 of 6 from the floor before the break, he went 10 of 12 the rest of the way. The ACC's leading scorer in conference play, Robinson has scored 20 points or more in three straight games and five of his last six.
Pitt: The Panthers entered the game 314th in Division I by averaging just eight offensive rebounds per game. They record just two against the Eagles, while conceding 18, which allowed the Eagles to attempt 66 field goals compared to the Panthers' 48. Of the two, one was a team rebound after Boston College deflected the ball out of bounds and the other was a long rebound collected by guard Jared Wilson-Frame.
''At some point, our frontcourt guys should be getting an offensive rebound,'' Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings said. ''You shouldn't play 20 or 30 minutes and not get an offensive rebound, but I'm just going to say that's on me. I've got to do more in practice to get them there.''
Boston College: Returns home to host Notre Dame on Saturday. The Eagles are 0-9 against Notre Dame since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC in 2013.
Pitt: Will visit Florida State on Sunday. The Panthers beat the Seminoles in 2017, one of four ACC wins over two seasons for Pitt under Stallings.