After holding a slim halftime lead, the Panthers came out victorious in Morgantown, defeating the Mountaineers 72-66 as part of ESPN's Big Monday.
The difference maker for Pitt was clearly point guard Tray Woodall. Woodall, finished with 24 points, one shy of his career high, and added four rebounds and three assists. His assists were way down from his average of more than seven per game, but Pitt needed practically all of his 24 points to win the game.
West Virginia trailed Pitt by as much as ten in the second half, but was spurred on by a big technical foul against Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins. The fairly mild crowd was absolutely raucous the rest of the way and really kept Pitt on their heels for the game’s final ten minutes. And Kevin Jones’ 21 points and 13 rebounds ensured West Virginia would keep it close.
Free throws were also a huge factor in the game as both teams shot particularly well, making over 80% of their attempts. The Panthers were 21-26 and the Mountaineers, 20-24.
For Pitt, the win doesn’t put them back in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament, but if they can continue to win games, they may surprisingly find themselves back in contention for a bubble spot. The Mountaineers, meanwhile, are now reeling, having lost three in a row and now at 15-8, and they could be seeing their tournament hopes disappear.