No. 8 Cincinnati beats No. 24 Pitt, 70-61
Cincinnati had overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and turned the tables by outrebounding Pitt in the second half when the Bearcats had a sequence that helped make history at Petersen Events Center.
With the shot clock winding down, the Bearcats twice missed shots only to get an offensive rebound. They worked the clock for 1:43 before Titus Rubles fed 7-footer David Nyarsuk for a dunk that doomed Pitt.
“That was a big play,” Pitt swingman Lamar Patterson said. “We didn't come up with it both times. It just hurt, hurt us big time. That's one of the things we've got to fix. When it comes down to it, we've got to get those. That was the turning point of the game.”
No. 8 Cincinnati became the first top-10 team to beat Pitt at the Petersen Events Center, rallying for a 70-61 victory Monday in the Big East Conference opener.
The Bearcats did it by beating the No. 24 Panthers at their own game: winning the battle of the boards (37-32) and coming up with a strong shooting performance (13 of 24) in the second half.
Fifth-year senior guard Cashmere Wright scored a game-high 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including two treys, to lead Cincinnati (13-1, 1-0) past Pitt (12-2, 0-1). Wright also made 6 of 7 free throws. Sean Kilpatrick added 16 points, and Jaquon Parker 13 for Cincinnati, which was coming off a 55-54 loss to New Mexico.
“We wanted to slow the game down and find a comfort level,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “The more the game went, the more comfortable we got on the offensive end.”
Talib Zanna led Pitt with 16 points, Patterson added 13 and Cameron Wright 10, including a 15-footer with nine seconds left in the first half that capped an 8-0 run to break a tie and give the Panthers a 34-26 halftime lead.
Cincinnati used a 7-0 run to take its first lead of the game when Rubles drove the left lane and scored while drawing a foul on Steven Adams for a three-point play and a 45-43 edge with 10:14 remaining.
Nyarusk's dunk gave the Bearcats a 62-55 lead with 1:39 remaining. Pitt cut it to 62-59 when Zanna scored and was fouled, and Patterson tipped in Zanna's missed free throw. Tray Woodall stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon called the loss “disappointing in every way.”
“The rebounding, defense, missed free throws while they made theirs,” Dixon said of Cincinnati making 25 of 35 free throws to Pitt's 15 of 25. “It just kind of all added up, and they came out with the win.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt baseball enjoying rise in expectations
- Howland: Pederson deserves more credit at Pitt
- Narduzzi set to begin more critical evaluations during Pitt football spring drills
- Pitt adds quarterback recruit from Cincinnati
- Pitt lands basketball recruit
- Firm compiling list of candidates for Pitt AD position
- Pitt lands Upper St. Clair tackle
- Season offers many teaching points for Pitt
- Pitt heavily vested in linebackers’ progress