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Wake Forest falls to Pitt in another collapse

After leading by 10 at half, the Deacs were outscored 50-35

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Remote coverage so a quick game recap below.

Different away game. Same story. Wake Forest entered halftime with a 10-point lead. From that point on, Pitt outscored the Deacons 50-35, handing Steve Forbes’ team a loss that has become far too familiar this season — one where it absolutely could have, and likely should have, won.

Wake Forest’s second half was mired by similar issues it’s seen in collapses past — the offense lost steam and the opposing team continued hitting shots at a solid clip. Pitt took the Deacs’ offensive woes and turned them into several back-breaking runs. First, it was 10-2 at the front end of the second half. Then, a 10-3 stretch midway through. Lastly, it was an 11-2 run that pushed the lead to an unreachable margin.

The Deacs found success in the first half through several avenues — the team shot 54% from the field, in comparison to Pitt’s 37%, led the rebound battle by eight, held Blake Hinson to five points and recorded 20 points in the paint. Though Wake’s eight turnovers were concerning, the Panthers scored just four points off them.

In the second half, Wake Forest dipped to 41% from the field, where Pitt rose to 53. Most notably, the three-pointers stopped falling — Wake missed 16 of its final 19 from deep. The Panthers outrebounded the Deacs, including nine offensive boards, which helped secure 10 second-chance points. Hinson added 12 to his first-half total, while Carlton Carrington ran wild for 17 (24 for the game). With seven additional turnovers by Wake Forest, Pitt capitalized for 10 points.

Before tonight’s game, Torvik gave Wake Forest a 57% chance of making the NCAA Tournament with a win. With a loss, 20%. It’s a large swing. In reality, that 20% makes it clear the season isn’t over, but the margin for error has become razor thin. And, time is getting shorter by the day.

The Deacs will have two days before a home tilt with Syracuse to find a formula to change the course of this season. Tipoff is set for 7:45pm Saturday on The CW.