James’ free throws give Marquette OT win over Pitt
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Dominic James drained a pair of free throws
with .9 seconds remaining in overtime to give the 24th-ranked Marquette Golden
Eagles a 77-74 win over the No. 6 Pittsburgh Panthers at the Peterson Events
James finished with 23 points and dished out five assists while Dan Fitzgerald
and Wesley Matthews each scored 14 for the Golden Eagles (17-4, 4-2 Big East),
who have won four straight games. Ousmane Barro had 12 points, seven rebounds
and three blocked shots in the win.
Ronald Ramon poured in 21 points and Aaron Gray donated 16 points and grabbed
nine boards for Pittsburgh (17-3, 5-1), who had a seven-game winning streak
Antonio Graves netted 12 and Mike Cook ended with 11 in the setback,
Pittsburgh’s first at home since losing to Seton Hall on March 3, 2006. Pitt
has lost only seven times at home in the last five seasons.
Two consecutive Fitzgerald treys pushed the margin to 60-51 with almost four
minutes to play, but the Panthers closed the second half with a 13-4 burst,
ending with a pair of Ramon free throws with three ticks on the clock.
With eight seconds remaining Graves hit 1-of-2 from the line and Keith
Benjamin grabbed the offensive rebound. James then fouled Ramon as he had one
foot on the arc.
Gray’s free throw gave Pittsburgh a 65-64 lead, its first since 10-9.
Ramon’s three put the Panthers ahead 72-69 with 2:48 on the clock, but four
straight free throws from Matthews gave Marquette a slim 73-72 advantage with
under two minutes to play.
Levon Kendall sank two from the charity stripe to regain a one-point margin
with 1:35 left in the extra session, but James drove into the paint with the
clock ticking down before he was fouled by Kendall with .9 ticks left.
Gray’s layup gave Pitt a 10-7 lead, but the Golden Eagles responded with a
17-5 burst, including 11 points from James, for a 24-15 lead.
Trailing 29-20, the Panthers tallied seven of the final 10 points of the half,
highlighted by Ramon’s trey, narrowing the gap to 32-27.
James led all scorers after the opening 20 minutes with 14 points.
Leading 40-37, Marquette scored eight straight, including Jerel McNeal’s
three-pointer, extending the lead to 48-37.
Pitt countered with a 13-2 rally, capped by a pair of Graves free throws,
cutting the deficit to 50-49.
Marquette connected on 44 percent of its shots from the field, while
Pittsburgh shot 42 percent from the floor…Kendall finished with 10 points
and six rebounds…The Golden Eagles scored 24 points off 18 Pittsburgh
turnovers…The Panthers play at Cincinnati while Marquette welcomes Seton
Hall on Wednesday…Pitt won the battle for the boards, 39-29…The Panthers
are 77-7 at home since the Peterson Events Center opened before the 2002-03