Jamarius Burton made two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining and Pitt escaped with a 65-64 victory against North Carolina on Wednesday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Nelly Cummings scored 21 points for the Panthers before fouling out with 1:47 left, but his teammates pulled through to complete a regular-season sweep.
Burton poured in 19 points for the Panthers (16-7, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who also won last February in Chapel Hill. Nike Sibande had 10 points off the Pitt bench, including a pair of baskets amid North Carolina’s late-game rally.
Caleb Love scored 22 points, Armando Bacot racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds and Pete Nance had 13 points for North Carolina (15-7, 7-4). Love’s shot at the buzzer was blocked.
Bacot hit two free throws to put North Carolina ahead 64-63 with 1:03 left. After a Pitt miss, the Panthers got the ball back on Bacot’s traveling violation with 27 seconds to go.
Pitt scored just four points in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
After North Carolina had a 13-2 run early in the second half to take a 46-40 lead, Cummings hit three consecutive 3-pointers for a personal 9-0 run that turned into a 13-2 spurt for the Panthers. Pitt soon led 55-48.
The Panthers, after hitting seven of eight shots, held a 57-50 edge at the 7-minute mark. The score was 61-61 after, in a 32-second span, Bacot converted a three-point play and Love hit a 3-pointer.
Burton, who scored 31 against North Carolina on Dec. 30, didn’t score until hitting a pair of free throws with 6:23 left in the first half.
Bacot, whose scoring average of 17.9 points per game ranked third in the ACC entering the night, didn’t score for nearly the first 15 minutes. He was 1-for-5 from the field and 4-for-7 on free throws in the first half with six points.
Love racked up nine points in the first 7 1/2 minutes as North Carolina took a 17-11 lead.
The Panthers used a 10-0 run to move to a 23-19 lead as North Carolina missed six shots in a row.
–Field Level Media