Pittsburgh, UNC-Wilmington square off hoping for turnarounds

NCAA Basketball

Last week didn’t represent a good start to the season for either Pittsburgh or UNC-Wilmington.

Given that, both hope the season’s second week of games will bring about better results, starting when they meet at Pittsburgh Tuesday.

The host Panthers (0-2) are looking for their first win of the season following a 78-63 home loss to The Citadel last Tuesday and a 74-59 loss at West Virginia on Friday.

Pitt made just five of 23 attempts from behind the 3-point line combined in the two games and committed a whopping 32 turnovers in the loss at West Virginia.

But despite the loss to the Mountaineers, Pitt head coach Jeff Capel found some signs of improvement from the season-opening loss to The Citadel.

“I thought our half-court defense was good,” Capel said. “I thought we played tougher. We showed some growth and got better (Friday). The result is disappointing, but I do think we got better (Friday).”

The Panthers have been paced in the first two games by center John Hugley, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds against The Citadel before adding 17 points and six rebounds against West Virginia.

The next opponent for Pitt is UNC-Wilmington (1-1), which also didn’t get off to the start it hoped to last week.

The Seahawks lost their season opener at Illinois State, 68-63, on Tuesday and then struggled with Division III Guilford at home on Friday before pulling out a 77-68 win.

“I’m glad we won (Friday), but we can learn from our mistakes in a win,” UNC-Wilmington head coach Takayo Siddle said. “Overall, we responded to adversity well and got the job done.”

The Seahawks were led last week by Shykeim Philips, who scored 14 points against Illinois State before adding 15 points and five assists in the win over Guilford.

Jaylen Sims, who had 13 points and eight rebounds against Guilford, and guard Jaylen Fornes, who has scored in double figures in each of the first two games, are also key players for UNC-Wilmington.

–Field Level Media

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