Pitt hopes to climb from ACC basement at Boston College |

Pitt hopes to climb from ACC basement at Boston College

Jerry DiPaola
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt head coach Jeff Capel with his hand on his head as the Panther fall behind against NC State in the second half Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at Petersen Events Center.

Pitt and Boston College inhabit the bottom third of the ACC standings, but there still will be plenty at stake Tuesday night when the teams get together in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Pitt (12-12, 2-9) is tied for last place with Miami. Boston College (11-11, 2-8) is trying to elude the embarrassment of the basement.

Meanwhile, Pitt wants to avoid an eight-game losing streak and its 10th loss in the ACC. Pitt has reached double-digit conference defeats four times in the previous seven seasons. But from 2001 through 2011, the Panthers averaged fewer than five per season while in the Big East.

“Everyone has to do more. All of us, coaches included,” coach Jeff Capel said.

After playing 24 games, Capel said his team needs to learn how to fight through fatigue.

“This time of year everyone’s tired. You look around our league, guys are banged up,” Capel said.

“The guys that have the experience, they’re able to push through. We’re trying to gain that. Can we be tough enough mentally to be able to execute a game plan when we’re tired?”

Boston College has lost nine of its past 11 games, including a nonconference loss to Hartford in overtime.

But Capel is concerned about Boston College, warning it is a team “like us, that’s hungry and desperate.”

B.C. guard Ky Bowman is third in the league in scoring (20.3 per game), and the Eagles have three of the top 13 rebounders in the ACC (Bowman, Steffon Mitchell and Nik Popvic, who average more than seven per game).

“It’s a difficult and demanding league,” coach Jim Christian, an assistant at Pitt from 1996-99, said. “You can play well in some places and lose.

“We’ve had moments where we showed we can compete with anybody in the league and stretches where lulls hurt you. That’s the league.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.