ShareThis Page

Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings self-critical in OT win vs. Mount St. Mary's

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, 9:30 p.m.
Pitt's Khameron Davis scores past Mount St. Mary's Greg Alexander during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Khameron Davis scores past Mount St. Mary's Greg Alexander during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson drives to the basket past Pitt's Marcus Carr and Jonathan Milligan during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson drives to the basket past Pitt's Marcus Carr and Jonathan Milligan during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's Shamiel Stevenson scores past Mount St. Mary's Bobby Planutis during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Shamiel Stevenson scores past Mount St. Mary's Bobby Planutis during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's Marcus Carr scores over Mount St. Mary's Donald Carey during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Marcus Carr scores over Mount St. Mary's Donald Carey during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's Kene Chukwuka blocks a shot by Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Kene Chukwuka blocks a shot by Mount St. Mary's Junior Robinson during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's Shamiel Stevenson (23) and Kene Chukwuka defend against Mount St. Mary's Ryan Gomes during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt's Shamiel Stevenson (23) and Kene Chukwuka defend against Mount St. Mary's Ryan Gomes during their game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings watches from the bench during a game against Mount St. Mary's Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings watches from the bench during a game against Mount St. Mary's Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Petersen Events Center.

Pitt stretched its winning streak to four games Tuesday night with an 82-78 overtime victory against Mount St. Mary's before another record-low crowd of 2,333 at Petersen Events Center.

But all coach Kevin Stallings could do after the game was shrug his shoulders and criticize the one person he figured was most responsible for losing all of a 15-point lead with 9 minutes, 46 seconds left in the second half.

He'll probably berate that guy even more when he looks in the mirror Wednesday morning.

“I guess I'm a little bit disappointed in our performance, but I'm really more disappointed in my coaching,” he said. “I could tell before the game I didn't have (players) where they needed to be.”

Stallings said his young team must play with an edge — a sharpness, an air of confidence — to survive this season.

“It wasn't that we didn't play hard. We played hard,” he said. “We just weren't on edge. We had an edge Friday night (in a a victory against Duquesne), and it didn't let up for 40 minutes.”

Tuesday night, after scoring the game's first seven points and taking a 31-24 lead into intermission, Pitt's defense fell apart in the second half.

“I thought we did do well defensively in stretches, but I thought the second half was abysmal,” he said.

Mount St. Mary's (3-6), an NCAA Tournament First Four winner last season and the defending Northeast Conference champion, shot 60.4 percent (17 of 28) while scoring 49 points in the second half.

“We just weren't locked in defensively in the second half, and I take responsibility for that,” Stallings said.

On the other end of the floor, Pitt (5-4) committed 17 turnovers against Mount St. Mary's pressing defense.

“We just stopped playing hard,” junior Jared Wilson-Frame said. “It was an effort thing.”

Mount St. Mary's 5-foot-5 guard Junior Robinson, who scored 39 Saturday against Loyola, recorded 24. Reserve guard Greg Alexander added 17 before fouling out with three minutes left in the second half.

“We were lucky he fouled out,” Stallings said. “He was torching us.”

Fortunately for Pitt, Wilson-Frame became the aggressor offensively in the second half, scoring all 15 of his points after halftime.

“I just started attacking,” he said. “I was just trying to find gaps and make plays for my teammates. When I started doing that, I started finding openings for myself.”

With leading scorer Ryan Luther off his game offensively — he missed nine of 11 shots, finished with four points, but contributed a career-high 16 rebounds — freshman point guard Marcus Carr stepped up and scored a personal-best 23 points.

“Marcus is a take-charge guy, and he has some abilities. So it's nice to see that,” Stallings said.

Carr was a savior in overtime, hitting five of his six free throws. Wilson-Frame scored the other four points to help Pitt avoid an upset.

“What we do show is enough poise to finish the job,” Stallings said. “That's encouraging with a group this young.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.