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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon didn't burn the tape from his team's 18-point loss to No. 21 Louisville on Thursday so much as he ignored it.
Given less than 48 hours to prepare for Boston College, Dixon figured the 20th-ranked Panthers didn't need a reminder of how poorly they played while scoring just 41 points and seeing all their early season momentum come to a halt in 40 minutes of misery.
"We knew what we did," Dixon said. "We didn't handle some things well. ... It's hard to fathom. It's hard to understand."
The bounce back performance Dixon wanted to see was not.
Spacing the floor and sharing the ball, Pitt ran away from Boston College 84-61 on Saturday, showing the kind of resiliency Dixon felt was required after watching the Panthers self-destruct against the Cardinals.
"It's how you handle adversity, are you going to point the finger?" Dixon said. "It was quiet the whole ride back (from Louisville). They didn't say a word. That's how you want them to handle it."
Jamel Artis led the Panthers (15-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 22 points. Cameron Johnson scored a career-high 20 points off the bench for Pitt and Michael Young added 13 points, five rebounds and a career-best nine assists. The Panthers had 23 assists on their 33 field goals, the kind of selflessness that fueled their hot start.
"Louisville got us shaken up a little bit and we started settling down," guard Damon Wilson said. "It was good. It was fun again."
Eli Carter scored a career-high 31 points for Boston College (7-10, 0-4) but received little help from his teammates. Carter made 12 of 22 shots, including 5 of 11 3-point attempts. The rest of the Eagles scored just 30 points on 11-of-26 shooting. Boston College's four losses in the league have been by an average of 23 points.
"We've got to get some other guys to play aggressively too," coach Jim Christian said. "The first 10 minutes we played pretty aggressively then ... guys got tentative. That's been a theme for us."
A 3-pointer by Carter drew Boston College within 62-51 with 10 minutes to play but the Eagles would get no closer while dropping their fourth straight.
A jolt off the bench from Johnson helped. The skinny redshirt freshman added 20 points after having his first year with the program cut short by shoulder injury. His playing time has fluctuated this season. He made a 3-pointer in the first half but poured it on in the second. He scored eight during a 13-4 surge — including a rare dunk to go with two 3s — to give Pitt all the breathing room it would need to avoid its first losing streak of the year.
While Dixon didn't review Pitt's pratfall at Louisville, Christian did. Watching the Panthers make just 14 field goals while turning it over a season-high 19 times didn't give Christian hope. Instead, it kind of did the opposite.
"I was like, 'They're not going to play poorly again,'" Christian said.
He was right. Knowing he didn't have anyone who could guard Young, the Eagles opted to double-team the forward in the post. It worked for Louisville as Young either forced a shot or was late in passing out of trouble. Young consistently found Johnson, Artis or point guard James Robinson for spot-up jumpers.
"They ran what they run," Christian said. "We didn't shoot a free throw in the first half, weren't very aggressive. We tried to change defenses as much as we could, keep them off balance."
Boston College: The Eagles fell to 0-3 in true road games. ... Boston College scored the game's first seven points but never led over the final 32 minutes. ... Center Dennis Clifford had 12 points and six rebounds but made just 3 of 9 shots from the field.
Pitt: The Panthers, who lead the nation in free throw percentage (78 percent), shot 8 of 11 (72 percent) at the line. ... Pitt outrebounded Boston College 34-17 and had a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points and a 36-24 edge on points in the paint. ... Pitt has won its last 10 meetings with Boston College. ... Guard Chris Jones was held scoreless in 2 minutes while being limited due to a left elbow injury.
Boston College hosts No. 8 Miami on Wednesday
Pitt hosts North Carolina State on Tuesday.
This story has been corrected to show Johnson had 20 points for Pitt, not 17.
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