CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Trey McGowens scored 26 points, Xavier Johnson added 23 points and Pittsburgh defeated Boston College 80-70 on Tuesday night in the first round of the ACC Tournament.
The explosive freshmen combined to shoot 14 of 28 from the field and make 19 of 26 free throws as the 14th-seeded Panthers won their second straight game since snapping a 13-game losing streak.
Jared Wilson-Frame chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds for Pittsburgh (14-18).
The victory propels the Panthers into Wednesday night’s second round matchup against former Big East rival Syracuse, the tournament’s sixth seed.
Nik Popovic had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Boston College (14-17), which shot 35.6 percent from the field and trailed by as many as 27 in the second half before cutting it to nine with 58 seconds left.
The Panthers closed the first half on a 23-5 run to take a commanding 36-21 lead at the break. Boston College failed to make a field goal in the final 9:17 before intermission and shot 25 percent.
Johnson provided the boost with huge plays on both ends of the court for Pitt. He repeatedly got to the hole scoring 14 points, and had two steals that led to two layups. The Panthers picked up where they left off in the second half as McGowens scored nine of the team’s first 17 points.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers have taken their lumps this year winning only three regular season ACC games, but Johnson and McGowens are going to be trouble for the next couple of seasons. Both have NBA potential.
Boston College: The Eagles have to find something on offense, where they looked out of sync for most of the game. They were just 6 of 25 from beyond the 3-point arc and could really use a knockdown shooter.
Pittsburgh: Will play Syracuse, who they lost to by nine points in both previous games this season, in the second round.
Boston College: Season over.