Trey McGowens scored 16 points as host Pittsburgh snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 56-53 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon in a clash of Atlantic Coast Conference cellar-dwelling teams.
Jared Wilson-Frame salvaged a 4-for-17 shooting performance by making four 3-pointers for the Panthers (13-18, 3-15), who recorded their first win since posting a 75-62 victory over Florida State on Jan. 14.
Nate Laszewski scored a season-high 23 points for the Fighting Irish (13-18, 3-15), who have dropped seven in a row. The freshman forward eclipsed his previous best point total of 19, set in a 63-61 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 22
Notre Dame’s John Mooney, who averaged a team-best 14.4 points entering the game, shot 1-for-11 from the floor and finished with four points.
After closing the first half on a 13-2 run, Pittsburgh continued its momentum in the second as Wilson-Frame drained three 3-pointers to push the team’s advantage to 50-42 with under seven minutes to play.
Laszewski answered by connecting three times from beyond the arc in a 2:08 span to bring the Fighting Irish within one at 52-51 with 2:01 to play, but TJ Gibbs misfired on a go-ahead 3-point attempt to effectively end the game.
The sputtering clubs struggled out of the gate, as Pittsburgh and Notre Dame combined to shoot 19-for-57 from the floor and 9-for-28 from 3-point range in the first half.
Laszewski made a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions and Dane Goodwin followed a pair of foul shots with a short jumper to propel the Fighting Irish to a 24-12 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Notre Dame went cold from the floor, however, and was outscored by a 10-0 margin over the next 6:21 to see its lead dwindle to 24-22.
McGowens sandwiched a 3-pointer and a dunk around Malik Ellison’s short jumper before Laszewski’s layup ended Notre Dame’s scoring drought with 39 seconds left in the half. McGowens promptly drained a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to trim the Fighting Irish’s lead to 26-25 at intermission.
—Field Level Media