Pitt came back from a nine-point deficit at halftime, and fought back to send the game to overtime just as they did in their meeting with Louisville last season. Unfortunately, this comeback didn't produce a win, as Pitt fell to the Cardinals 62-59.
Pitt trailed the Cardinals 31-22 at the intermission. The Panthers were 1-of-8 from three-point range and turned the ball over seven times to just four assists. Louisville's defensive plan—both the 2-3 zone and its pressure man-to-man—frustrated the Panthers.
In the second half, Pitt still struggled in taking care of the ball. They fixed their three-point shooting woes, getting within three points twice, then made it a two-point game after Brad Wanamaker hit a pull-up jumper from inside the arc, and was fouled. Wanamaker's free throw made it a 49-47 game with 5:52 left. The Cardinals led by as many as 12 in the first half.
Pitt then tied the game off another jumper from Wanamaker in the circle, tying the score at 49-49 with 3:35 left. Wanamaker had to tie the game twice more for the Panthers down the stretch—tying it at 54-54 with 1:06 left, and again at 56-56, which sent the game to overtime. Gary McGhee came up with two big blocks underneath in the final seconds of regulation to help preserve the tied, sending the game to overtime.
Pitt could not convert any of its field goal attempts in the overtime period, while committing another three turnovers. The Panthers finished with 16 turnovers for the game. Pitt had one last chance to tie it. Down 60-57 with eight seconds left in the overtime period.
Wanamaker fed Brown inside, who missed an easy layup off the glass. Louisville came up with the ball, pushing it ahead to Kyle Kuric, who finished off with a dunk. With 0.3 seconds left in the game, a Louisville cheerleader came onto the court and kicked the ball in the air. The Cardinals were hit a technical foul, as Pitt sent Ashton Gibbs to the line. Gibbs converted both of his free throws, as Pitt had possession for one last chance. Brown passed the ball in bounds, passing it to Gibbs, who was able to get off a desperation shot that bounced far off the glass.
Wanamaker finished the game with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the game, while Brown led Pitt with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Gibbs started off 0-for-5 from three-point range, but hit his first two three-pointers in the second half, to help bring Pitt back.
Pitt falls to 25-4 overall, 13-3 in Big East play. The Panthers are a full game ahead of second-place Notre Dame (23-5, 12-4) in the Big East standings, and still have a magic number of two. Any combination of Pitt wins and Notre Dame losses that equal two gives Pitt a first-place regular-season finish in the Big East. Pitt travels to USF on Wednesday night, then closes out the regular season Saturday against Villanova. Notre Dame hosts Villanova Monday night, then travels to UConn Saturday afternoon.