PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jason Roche knocked down eight 3-pointers and The Citadel jumped to an early lead it never surrendered to knock off short-handed Pittsburgh, 78-63 in the season opener for both schools Tuesday night.
The victory was The Citadel’s first over an ACC team since 1979 and snapped a 46-game losing streak against ACC teams.
A freshman, Roche hit half of the Bulldogs’ six 3s in the opening seven minutes to build a 29-7 lead and held a 43-31 advantage at intermission.
The Panthers cut the deficit to single digits on several occasions but could get no closer than nine points.
Roche, who took all 14 of his shots from beyond the arc, finished with 27 points and Hayden Brown, was voted the preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year, finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Tyler Moffe added 12 points and dished five assists. The Citadel hit 13 of 36 from long range.
John Hugley scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Pitt. Femi Odukale contributed 20 points.
The Panthers lost their two leading scorers from a year ago before the season tipped off. Nike Sibande suffered a knee injury in the exhibition win over Gannon and is lost for the season. The team announced Monday that Ithiel Horton has been suspended indefinitely after allegedly assaulting a Pittsburgh police officer.
Jamarius Burton, an incoming transfer from Texas Tech expected to run the point, is recovering from knee surgery and did not play in the season opener. His Pitt debut is considered a day-to-day decision.
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