Panthers hold off Pirates
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Levance Fields scored 15 points and
Jamar Nutter’s last-second three rimmed out as the short-handed No. 10
Pittsburgh Panthers survived a scare, edging the Seton Hall Pirates, 71-68.
Levon Kendall had 14 points and eight rebounds for Pitt (24-4, 11-2 Big East),
which played without star seven-foot center Aaron Gray, who sat with a
sprained left ankle he suffered late in Saturday’s 65-61 win over Washington.
Sam Young added 11 points for the Panthers, who have won seven of eight.
Eugene Harvey scored 24 points, 19 in the second half, for Seton Hall (12-14,
3-10) which has lost five straight and eight of nine. Nutter finished with 19
points for the Pirates, and Brian Laing added 12 points and eight boards.
Nutter drilled a long three-pointer to pull the Pirates to within 70-68 with
6.4 seconds left, and Fields only made one-of-two free throws to give Seton
Hall one last shot with 4.8 ticks remaining. Nutter launched a shot from just
inside the half-court line that rimmed out long, though, and the Panthers
Pitt appeared to end any hopes of an upset by the Pirates with a 16-4 run in
the second half. Clinging to a 43-41 lead, Pitt heated up, and Fields followed
a three with a two-pointer to give the Panthers a 59-45 lead with only 5 1/2
Seton Hall would not fall easily to the top team in the conference, though,
and the Pirates answered with a 17-5 stretch to make things interesting in the
final seconds. After Harvey hit two free throws, the Pirates stole the ensuing
inbounds pass, and a Paul Gause putback pulled Seton Hall to within 64-61 with
just over a minute left, setting up the frenetic finish.
The Pirates impressed the home crowd early, taking advantage of cold Pitt
shooting, and led 14-4 after a Laing basket just over five minutes into the
game. Seton Hall held a 16-8 lead after a Harvey basket with just over 12
minutes left, but the Panthers came alive offensively, ripping off a 13-2 run
to take the lead. A Ronald Ramon three closed the stretch, putting the
Panthers ahead 21-18 with just under eight minutes left.
Seton Hall kept pace down the stretch, though, and only trailed 30-26 at the
Head coach Jamie Dixon collected his 100th win at Pitt with the victory, and
at 100-26 in four seasons at Pitt, he is the fastest coach in school history
to reach the milestone…Pitt stayed on top of the Big East, with a matchup at
No. 12 Georgetown (20-5, 10-2) on Saturday to possibly decide the regular-