No. 25 Pitt traveled to the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla., to square off against the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday, looking to shake off a two game-losing streak.
The Panthers were successful, coming out victorious in a defensively-oriented 59-55 overtime win.
Looking to respond from Sunday’s 48-45 home loss to Virginia, the Panthers (19-4, 7-3 ACC) were led by senior guard Lamar Patterson, who finished with a game-high 25 points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal. Junior guard Cameron Wright finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, and senior center Talib Zanna added 10 points and five rebounds.
Patterson scored 10 points in overtime and essentially willed his Panthers to a hard-fought, and much-needed, victory. With 10.6 seconds left in OT, Patterson made one of two free throws to give Pitt a 57-55 lead. Patterson then stole Brown’s pass on a drive to the hoop, and he sealed the win with a pair of free throws.
For Miami (11-11, 2-7 ACC), senior guard and leading scorer Rion Brown came off the bench (due to illness and missed practice) and scored 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting. Senior guard Garrius Adams chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Brown kept Miami in the game, scoring 10 points down the stretch and hitting a huge 3-pointer to give the Hurricanes a 45-44 lead with 27 seconds left. Patterson responded for Pitt, driving to the basket and making a layup with 15 seconds remaining. With seven seconds on the clock, James Robinson fouled Miami’s Manu Lecomte, who would hit one of two free throws.
Following a missed 3 by Wright at the buzzer, Pitt and Miami went to overtime tied 46-46.
Pitt shot 33.3 percent (18-54), whereas Miami shot 34.6 percent (18-52) in a game in which fans of high-scoring offenses would not enjoy. Pitt was also outrebounded 43-37. Miami is now 0-5 in ACC games at home.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 15-9 lead during the first seven minutes of the game, but Wright scored 10 first-half points for the Panthers in a back-and-forth battle. Near the end of the half, Patterson drained back to back 3-pointers to give Pitt a 29-28 lead going into the break.
In the second half, neither team scored during the first five minutes, in what would turn out to be a defensive struggle. Pitt’s largest lead came off of a Josh Newkirk layup to put the Panthers up 37-30.
Pitt will host Virginia Tech at noon Saturday. Miami will host NC State at 2PM on Saturday.
Brett is a Pitt staff writer at City of Champions. Follow him on Twitter @BJoseph21.