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Pitt aims to shake off rust against South Carolina State

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Having enjoyed its longest stretch between games since the season got underway, Pittsburgh will get back at it Saturday afternoon when it hosts South Carolina State.

The Panthers (7-3) won their last two games heading into a week-long break from competition.

“I knew this would be a tough game for a few reasons,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said following his team’s 82-71 home win over Canisius last Saturday. “No. 1, it’s the end of the week. This is our third game in seven days. We haven’t embarked on anything like this since we’ve been together. The second reason, (we’re) coming off of an emotional win Wednesday night against West Virginia, against the rival.”

The Panthers lead the Atlantic Coast Conference with 10.6 3-pointers per outing. They’ve made 45.2 percent of their shots (28 of 62) from beyond the arc over their past two games.

Blake Hinson has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games, the first time a Pitt player has done so since Jamel Artis accomplished the feat five times during the 2016-17 season. Hinson averages 21.9 points per contest, while Carlton Carrington contributes 14.9 points and a team-high 6.1 assists.

South Carolina State (3-8) dropped seven straight games before eking by Jacksonville, 86-85, in overtime on Monday. Davion Everett boasts team-best averages in points (10.4) and rebounds (7.2), while Mitchel Taylor has added 9.2 points per game.

South Carolina State has averaged 70.7 points, which is the third-lowest mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs’ coach, Erik Martin, is familiar with the Panthers. He has ties to the Big East Conference as a former 16-year assistant under Bob Huggins at West Virginia.

After he took over last year, Martin’s team posted a 5-26 record — including a 2-12 mark in league play.

–Field Level Media

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