basketball Edit

Pitt loses a close one to Vanderbilt 75-74

Vanderbilt's Tyrin Lawrence buried two free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining to give Vanderbilt a 75-74 win over Pitt. The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for the Panthers. Pitt's record is now 6-4 on the season.

Pitt ran one final play and got the ball to Jamarius Burton for a look at the top of the key, but he was unable to get a clean look and had the shot blocked, ending Pitt's comeback bid at the buzzer.

The Panthers trailed 73-66 with 1:52 remaining, but put together an improbable 8-0 run to grab the lead at 74-73 with :15 seconds left in the game on a Nelly Cummings jump shot. Greg Elliott made two baskets down the stretch, including a clutch 3-pointer following a review by the officials.

The comeback bid was admirable, but there was a reason the Panthers needed one in the first place. Pitt committed 15 turnovers in this one. They shot 14-of-21 from the free throw line, including some costly misses late in the game. The Panthers were also out-rebounded 39-31 for the game.

Pitt trailed by as many as 8 points in the second half, as the host Commodores got hot from the three-point line late in the game. Pitt's 56-55 advantage at the seven minute mark was erased by a 9-0 Vanderbilt run, all on the strength of three-pointers, and the Panthers had to play catchup from there for the remainder of the game.

The mistakes started well before that, but some good outside shooting kept the Panthers around throughout much of the first half and masked the problems. For the game Pitt made 12 three-pointers.

Elliott led Pitt in scoring with 20 points. Nelly Cummings added 18, while Blake Hinson provided 14, and Burton chipped in with 10 points.

Capel kept a relatively short bench on Wednesday. The Panthers used three reserves and received little production. Nike Sibande has been one of Pitt's best scoring threats of late, but was held scoreless.

Federiko Federiko did provide good minutes off the bench. The reserve big man posted 4 points and 5 rebounds, and the team seemed more effective with him on the floor as opposed to starting center, John Hugley. The Panthers' big man scored 8 points, but finished with 0 rebounds and 3 turnovers, which continues a frustrating stretch of play for the team's returning leading scorer.

The Panthers return to action on Saturday when they host Sacred Heart for a 3:30 tip at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt has two more non-conference games before closing out the year with 19 ACC contests.