Surging Pitt tops No. 17 Cincinnati with late rally
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Tray Woodall scored 14 points and sparked a late run with a pair of 3-pointers, as No. 23 Pittsburgh continued its surge with a 62-52 road victory over No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday.
The Panthers (20-5, 8-4 Big East) lost to the Bearcats on New Year's Eve to start a string of three losses in four games, but have since gone on a 7-1 tear to rise in the Big East standings.
Steven Adams and Talib Zanna donated 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Pitt, which did not allow a field goal over the final nine minutes.
Cincinnati (18-6, 6-5) missed its last 14 shots, with Sean Kilpatrick going 0- of-7 from the field after scoring 15 of his 16 points before intermission.
"They just didn't fall in," Kilpatrick said simply. "Sometimes it is going to go in for us, and sometimes it's not."
Pitt took its first lead of the second half on an 8-0 run, as Woodall hit a 3- pointer to tie it prior to Lamar Patterson finding Trey Zeigler down low for a layup and a 47-45 lead with 6:20 remaining.
Titus Rubles stopped the run with a pair of free throws and Kilpatrick added a go-ahead free throw before the Panthers scored seven in a row, the last three coming on another deep make by Woodall for a 54-48 cushion with under 3 1/2 minutes to go.
Two free throws from JaQuon Parker cut the deficit to four, and after Woodall missed two from the stripe, Cheikh Mbodj made 1-of-2 free throws for a three- point game.
Zanna, though, extended the lead with a dunk, and after Kilpatrick missed from long range, the Panthers went 6-of-6 from the foul line over the final minute to secure the win.
"A lot of people kept saying we couldn't hang with the big boys or we can't hang with the top tier teams in the Big East. But clearly they don't know what they're talking about," a confident Woodall said.
A Woodall 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run that gave Pittsburgh a 24-21 lead with three minutes remaining in the first half.
Cincinnati responded with 10 straight points of its own, with Kilpatrick wrapping up his big half with a three-point play and 3-pointer.
Adams' bucket got the Panthers within 31-26 at the break.
Pittsburgh reached 20 wins for the 12th consecutive season ... The Panthers shot 46 percent from the field, compared to 31 percent for Cincinnati, which made just 4-of-25 from 3-point range ... The Bearcats had won 10 of their previous 15 games against ranked opponents.
02/09 22:50:16 ET