Clutch Patterson leads Pitt to overtime victory over Miami (Fla.) on road
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Lamar Patterson certainly remembers the depressing feeling of missing two free throws with a one-point lead against Cincinnati that led to Pitt's first loss of the season.
At Miami, however, he claimed amnesia.
Patterson made three of four free throws in the final 10.6 seconds in scoring a school-record 10 of his game-high 25 points in overtime to lead the No. 25 Panthers to a 59-55 victory over Miami on Wednesday night at BankUnited Center.
“That's something I've been working on,” Patterson said. “We lost games because I missed free throws or lost opportunities because I missed free throws that could have given us the lead or kept us in the game. That's not acceptable being that I've been here for awhile.”
Patterson broke out of a two-game shooting slump — he was a combined 7 of 28 from the field against Duke and Virginia — as Pitt (19-4, 7-3) snapped a two-game losing streak with its fourth road victory in ACC play. The 6-foot-5 fifth-year senior swingman made 6 of 14 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 3-pointers, and sank 9 of 12 free throws.
“I think it was more shots just not falling. I had good looks in every game, pretty much,” Patterson said. “It's just things you really can't worry about. I can't dwell on the last two games while I'm trying to play this game. You've got to have amnesia when it comes to stuff like that.”
It was Pitt's first visit to Miami since January 2004, a 84-80 double-overtime victory over the former Big East foes. The Panthers are 7-10 at Miami, with an 18-16 edge in the all-time series. It was the fourth consecutive conference loss for the Hurricanes (11-11, 2-7).
“Every ACC road win is a great one,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “There's not a lot of these in conference play, and we've got four of them now.”
Pitt won despite struggling in its shooting for the third consecutive game, going 18 of 54 (33.3 percent) against Miami's matchup zone defense. After shooting better than 50 percent against Clemson (56.3) and at Maryland (51), the Panthers shot 41.2 percent against Duke and 31.9 percent against Virginia.
Miami was led by senior guard Rion Brown, who scored a team-high 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including four 3-pointers, and appeared to thrive on trading big shots with Patterson. Brown fed Erik Swoope for a pair of dunks then hit a 3-pointer for a 26-22 Miami lead late in the first half before Patterson hit a pair of 3-pointers, including one with 2.2 seconds left, to give the Panthers a 29-28 halftime lead.
Neither team scored for the first 5:09 of the second half until Patterson drained a third consecutive 3-pointer to spark an 8-2 run for a 37-30 lead as the Panthers appeared to be pulling away. But Miami answered with a 6-0 run, with Brown's breakaway cutting it to 37-36 at 9:44.
Where Patterson made his critical free throws, Miami seniors Brown and Garrius Adams missed two free throws that could have given the Hurricanes the lead. Finally, Brown hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Miami a 45-44 lead with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Patterson responded by slashing to the basket from the left wing at 13.1 seconds to make it 46-45.
Miami freshman point guard Manu Lecomte drew a foul from Robinson with seven seconds remaining in regulation and made the second of two free throws to tie the game at 46-46. Cameron Wright missed a turnaround 3-point shot at the buzzer.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We did everything but win.”
Patterson took over in the extra period.
“I just saw the opportunity and went,” Patterson said. “I didn't want to leave this game and be like, ‘I could have gave more.' It started out rough, but I wanted to put my print on this game.”
Brown got the overtime scoring started with a 3-pointer, but Patterson answered with a trey of his own that Dixon called a “big momentum play” for the Panthers. Patterson then made two free throws and a driving lefty layup for two-point cushions.
Wright, who had 12 points and nine rebounds, made two free throws with 29.6 seconds left for a 56-53 lead before Brown scored a driving layup. Patterson mad the back end of a two-shot foul with 10.6 seconds left then got a loose ball after Wright knocked it out of Brown's hands on a dribble drive and sank two more with 2.1 seconds left.
“We can breathe now a little bit, but it's still disappointing how we played the whole game, basically,” Patterson said. “But we came together at the end and pulled out that W.”