PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh (11-4, 4-0 ACC) snapped No. 11 Virginia’s (10-3, 2-2) eight-game series win streak upon defeating the Cavaliers 68-65 at the Peterson Events Center Tuesday night (Jan. 3). The Panthers out-scored UVA 45-32 in the second half to successfully mount a comeback and improve to 4-0 in conference play.
Kihei Clark scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, dished out eight assists and added four rebounds. Armaan Franklin (14 points, 6-12 FG), Reece Beekman (12 points, 4-9 FG) and Kadin Shedrick (10 points, 4-5 FG, 4 rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Hoos.
The Cavaliers shot a season-low four free throw attempts on the night.
The loss marked UVA’s second of the series since the Panthers joined the ACC in 2013-14. Virginia has won 15 of the last 17 games against Pitt, including an 8-4 record in Pittsburgh.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Virginia utilized a flurry of scoring runs, including an 8-0 run toward the middle of the opening half, to lead the Panthers 33-23 at the break. The Cavaliers led for 18:35 minutes of gametime in the first half with the help of seven UVA steals. Franklin led all scorers with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and added three rebounds and three assists in the first 20 minutes of play. Virginia shot 48 percent from the field in the first half, while holding Pitt to just 32 percent shooting with only eight made field goals. A 12-2 UVA run gave the Cavaliers their largest lead [27-14] of the game, but the Panthers gradually chipped away at their deficit in the final four minutes of play of the opening half.
A 14-0 run by the Panthers midway through the second half delivered Pitt’s first lead of the game [46-44] with 10:47 to play. After UVA did not trail in the opening stanza, the two teams ultimately traded the lead five teams by the end of the game. Isaac McKneely’s (6 points 2-5 3FG) second and final 3-pointer of the game – on an assist from Beekman – tied the score 60-60 with 1:47 remaining. The Panthers made it a two-possession game [64-60] with under 30 seconds to play. Moments later, Clark found Franklin cutting across the lane, who finished a contested layup at the 20-second mark to cut UVA’s deficit back to two, 64-62. However, the Panthers went 4-for-4 at the charity stripe down the stretch, when UVA began to intentionally foul, to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Cavaliers host Syracuse (10-5, 3-1 ACC) in ACC action on Saturday (Jan. 7). Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 5 p.m. on ACC Network. FIND TICKETS