By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 6, 2019
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WCTV) -- Florida State's Trent Forrest led all scorers with 19 points, shooting 50% from the floor in the process, but it wasn't enough as FSU fell to Pitt, 63-61, to open the 2019/20 season.
Forrest added two rebounds, both on the defensive glass, two assists and a block to his stat line. He also led the Seminoles with five turnovers.
Devin Vassell logged 14 points for FSU, going 6-for-7 from the floor and a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, but no other Seminole scored more than eight (Anthony Polite).
The loss marks the first time FSU has lost their season opener since losing to then-#25 South Alabama, 76-71, at the Tucker Center on November 9, 2012.
FSU led for a majority of the first half and into the halfway point of the second half until Pitt rattled off a 10-0 run to take a 42-41 lead with just over 11 minutes to play.
During the run, the Panthers held the Seminoles without a field goal for over four and a half minutes.
Once Pitt took the lead, the two teams traded blows for the final 10 minutes, ultimately leading to the Panthers' two-point victory.
FSU held the ball during the final possession and had a chance to tie, but freshman Patrick Williams couldn't sink a running shot and Polite was unable to put back the offensive rebound in time, sealing the Pitt win.
“We showed our inexperience,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said after the game about his team. “I thought our kids fought. ... We just have to go back and regroup from this.”
The Seminoles started the game well, using their length down low and physicality to hold Pitt at bay, keeping the Panthers to just a 24% shooting percentage in the opening 20 minutes.
FSU forced nine first half turnovers, most of which came in transition, but was unable to find the offense to match their defensive tenacity and put the game away early.
Pitt underwent a 2-for-17 stretch in that first half, in which FSU was unable to build a lead more than six points, and ended the half on a 13-7 run as the teams entered the halftime locker room tied at 25-25.
Four Panthers scored in double figures - Xavier Johnson, Terrell Brown, Ryan Murphy (13) and Trey McGowens.
On the night, the Noles shot 39.6% from the floor and 30% from three, while the Panthers logged shooting percentages of 31.4% and 34.6%, respectively.
Pitt outrebounded the Noles, 37-35, and shot more than twice as many free throws as FSU.
Florida State is back in action on Sunday at Florida. Tip off is set for 1 p.m. and is on ESPN.