Pitt tops Washington State to win CBI title
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Tray Woodall scored 17 points with seven assists and Pittsburgh defeated Washington State, 71-65, to win the College Basketball Invitational tournament on Friday.
The Panthers (22-17) were without leading scorer Ashton Gibbs for the second straight contest, but got 14 points from Lamar Patterson and 12 from Talib Zanna.
Reggie Moore scored a game-high 18 points for Washington State (19-18), which won the opener of the three-game series at home, but dropped two straight at Pittsburgh to finish as the runner-up.
"I think it was really good for kids in our program that are coming back," said Washington State head coach Ken Bone. "I also feel like for our team, three seniors, it gave them a chance to keep playing ball games and enjoy the rest of their senior season. It worked out well for all of the guys in our program."
The game was tied at 44 over five minutes into the second half after a layup from Washington State's D.J. Shelton, but the Panthers posted a 12-2 surge to take a 56-46 lead with 9:25 left in the contest.
Two free throws from Moore brought the Cougars within six, 63-57, with just under four minutes left, but they would get no closer as Pitt connected on 4- of-4 from the charity stripe and J.J. Moore added a layup to make it 69-57 with 2:03 left in the game.
The Cougars made a late charge over the final 1:46 as Reggie Moore scored six straight and Pitt went 2-of-6 from the line, but it was too little, too late and the Panthers held on for the victory.
"Obviously it's not the tournament we're used to being into but we battled and the kids wanted to do more this year," remarked Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. "I am very happy for our guys and I'm real happy for them sticking together, fighting through and coming out together playing their best basketball as the year progressed."
A back-and-forth first half found the Cougars holding a one-point lead before DaVonte Lacy hit a three-pointer to press the edge to 28-24 with 6:44 left in the first.
The Panthers responded, however, reeling off nine straight points sparked by J.J. Moore's triple and Pittsburgh took a 33-28 advantage with 4:25 remaining until halftime.
Washington State had an answer, scoring seven of the next nine to tie the game at 35, but Patterson converted a three-point play to send Pitt into the locker room with a 38-35 edge.
Pittsburgh is the first Big East team to win the CBI in its five-year history...It was the fourth time in five years that the championship series went to a decisive third game...J.J. Moore finished with 11 points for Pitt, while Lacy chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars.
03/30 23:09:26 ET