Pitt freshman guard James Robinson sunk both ends of a one-and-one with 9.1 seconds left to preserve a 68-64 win at Providence Tuesday night. It was the Panthers third road win in a row and their fourth win in the last five games. The loss was in overtime against Marquette.
"This was a good win. It showed a lot from our guys," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "Robinson [made the free throws] late. We had freshmen make big plays and we found a way."
Pitt (16-4, 4-3 Big East) led 34-27 at the half and held a 10-point lead with 2:21 left. The pesky Friars (10-9, 2-5 Big East) kept battling and tore off an 11-5 run late in the game to trail by only two points with eleven seconds left.
"We led from start to finish but we knew [Providence] was going to make a run. They're a good team," Dixon said. "We made some mistakes but we'll learn from this."
Lamar Patterson paced the Panthers with 17 points on 7-for-10 from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds.
"Lamar [Patterson] had a great game," Dixon said.
Tray Woodall added nine points including a 12-footer in the lane with less than 30 seconds left to help Pitt keep the Friars at bay.
Also for the Panthers, J.J. Moore scored nine points including a three-pointer that gave Pitt a ten-point lead (63-53) with 2:21 left. Talib Zanna also scored nine points.
Steve Adams scored eight points including five points and two blocked shots in the first two minutes of the game, but he picked up two fouls in less than three minutes into the game and had to sit out the rest of the first half.
Pitt shot 51 percent from the floor including 57 percent from three-point range and all nine players that got in the game scored and Pitt's bench outscored the Friars' bench 20-3. Cam Wright did not get in the game. The Panthers however, struggled again from the free throw line and shot 57 percent.
Providence was led by Bryce Cotton who scored 24 points including a three-pointer with eleven seconds left that cut Pitt's lead to two points. He had 13 points in the first half and the rest of the Friars scored only 14 in the first half.
"We didn't guard the three-point shot well," Dixon said. "We practiced guarding against it for three days."
Kadeem Batts scored 17 points and Vincent Council added eleven points for the Friars.
The rebounding total was tied 30-30 overall and the Panthers gave up 13 offensive rebounds, much to Dixon's disappointment.
"The rebounding was disappointing. That really stood out to me," Dixon said. "You usually win on the road with defense. Tonight, we didn't have our best defense effort on the road. We won it on offense."
Pitt is now above .500 in league play, a feat they have not accomplished in two years.
"There's not many teams above .500 in the conference," Dixon said. "We've played more road games than home games so far this season."
Pitt returns home now and hosts DePaul on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.