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Pitt falls to N.C. State, 79-76; losing streak reaches seven in a row | TribLIVE.com
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Pitt falls to N.C. State, 79-76; losing streak reaches seven in a row

Pitt missed four 3-point attempts in the final 43 seconds Saturday and fell to N.C. State, 79-76, at Petersen Events Center.

The first three of those shots were consecutive attempts by Xavier Johnson, center Terrell Brown and Sidy N’Dir. N’Dir missed the fourth at the buzzer and Pitt’s losing streak reached seven games in a row.

Pitt (12-12, 2-9) hasn’t won since defeating Florida State on Jan. 14.

N.C. State (17-7, 5-6) stopped its three-game losing streak. C.J. Bryce, who hit three foul shots in the final nine seconds, led the Wolfpack with 21 points.

Pitt played without junior Malik Elllison, who was hurt late in the Wake Forest game and was not in uniform.

The good news turned out to be the balanced scoring by Pitt, with five players getting at least 11 points. Johnson led the team with 17 points,k followed by Jared Wilson-Frame with 16, Brown, who threw in two of Pitt’s eight 3-pointers, with 12 and N’Dir and Trey McGowens with 11 each.

The bad news was Pitt allowing N.C. State 20 offensive rebounds and 12 second-chance points.

N.C. State threatened to turn the game into a rout only 4 minutes, 16 seconds into the second half, taking a 57-43 lead at the end of a 16-5 run.

The Panthers recovered with a streak of their own — 10 unanswered points — and finally grabbed a 61-59 lead with 11:09 left.

Neither team established dominance in the first half, with the score tied at 6, 14, 19, 29, 31 and 34. N.C.State took a 41-38 lead at halftime on D.J. Funderburk’s dunk with three seconds left. The lead changed hands five times.

With N.C. State coming off a 96-point effort in a 17-point loss at North Carolina on Tuesday, there also wasn’t much defense.

McGowens reached double-digit scoring (10 points) by halftime, the first such performance for the freshman guard since the Duke game on Jan. 22. For the half, Pitt shot 54.2 percent from the field (13 of 24) and eight of eight from the foul line.

Pitt center Terrell Brown played only 13 minutes in the first while acquiring two fouls, giving Funderburk room to score 10 points with five rebounds and lead the Wolfpack in both categories.