The best of Pitt's tenure in Big East

Kevin Gorman
| Sunday, March 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Fantastic finishes

3.2.88 Charles Smith sinks two free throws with 17 seconds left to silence a Carrier Dome crowd of 32,000-plus in an 85-84 victory over Syracuse to clinch Pitt's first outright Big East regular-season title.

2.7.08 Keith Benjamin finds Ronald Ramon open in the left corner for a 3-pointer to beat West Virginia, 55-54, at Petersen Events Center, the first buzzer beater at the Pete. “Keith was the one who made the pass,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “Ronald was everybody's favorite, but I remember the pass more than the shot.”

1.16.10 Pitt rallies from a seven-point deficit in the final minute to send the game into overtime, where it beats Louisville, 82-77, for the 31st consecutive victory at the Pete.

2.12.10No. 23 Pitt rallies from a five-point deficit against No. 4 West Virginia with 35 seconds left behind baskets by Tray Woodall and Nasir Robinson and Ashton Gibbs' 3-pointer, then pulls off a 98-95 triple overtime win.

3.4.10 After Brian McKenzie makes 1 of 2 free throws with 3.5 seconds left to give Providence a one-point lead, Ashton Gibbs hits a 30-footer for a 73-71 victory. The Panthers rallied from a five-point deficit in the final seven minutes. Gibbs, who made 6 3s, scored 25 points.

Excruciating endings

12.12.98 Top-ranked Connecticut survives a scare, scoring four points in the final eight seconds for a 70-69 victory at Fitzgerald Field House. Khalid El-Amin, who scored the game winner, jumps atop the scorer's table and taunts the Pitt student section.

3.13.04Big East tourney MVP Ben Gordon — who scored a record 81 points in three games — gives Connecticut the lead on a runner in the lane with 30 seconds left, then sinks two free throws to clinch a 61-58 victory over the Panthers in the championship game.

2.23.05 Eighteen days after leading West Virginia to an 83-78 overtime victory by scoring eight of his 27 points in the extra period, 6-foot-11 Kevin Pittsnogle scores 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Mountaineers to a 70-66 victory at Petersen Events Center.

3.10.11 After winning the Big East regular-season title and earning a double bye for the Big East tourney, the Panthers lose when Connecticut's Kemba Walker scores on a step-back jumper for a 76-74 victory. Walker leads the Huskies to Big East and NCAA titles.

2.19.11Tray Woodall's 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left gives Pitt a one-point lead, but St. John's Dwight Harvey's “Baryshnikov” baseline pirouette and underhand flip-in with 1.2 seconds left beats the No. 4 Panthers at Madison Square Garden.

Impressive individuals

1.26.85Curtis Aiken, a 1,200-point scorer who was the first McDonald's All-American to sign with Pitt, displays his defensive side in setting a school record in Big East play with seven steals in an 80-75 loss to Syracuse. The Orange featured All-America point guard Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, who scored 30 points but had six turnovers and only one assist.

2.11.90Brian Shorter breaks a Big East record for field-goal percentage by making 11 of 11 shots in a 117-102 victory over Providence at Fitzgerald Field House. Shorter finishes with 34 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals. The previous mark (10 for 10) was set by Georgetown's Patrick Ewing in 1984 and tied by Syracuse's Sherman Douglas in '87.

2.12.97 Jason Maile ties a school record with eight 3-pointers in scoring a career-high 40 points in a 95-89 victory over Villanova. Maile, a 6-foot-4 senior, was 8 for 8 from the field (including six 3s) and scored 28 points in the second half.

3.4.98 Vonteego Cummings scores 37 points a 96-93 double-overtime loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament. The 6-foot-4 guard played all 50 minutes but lost the ball with 10 seconds left, which led to Howard Brown hitting the game-winning 3-pointer.

1.22.05 vChevon Troutman scores 25 of his 29 points in the second half to lead the Panthers from an 11-point deficit to a 76-66 victory at Connecticut. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound senior forward caps it with a steal and layup, drawing a foul for a four-point play with 17 seconds left.

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