Panthers Can't Catch Marquette, Fall 74-67

A 13-26 performance from the free throw line, in addition to a 2-10 start from the field is too much for Pitt to overcome. The Panthers fall to 13-4 overall, 1-3 in Big East play.

Pitt had a chance to build upon its impressive win over Georgetown from Tuesday, but they did not, in a 74-67 loss to Marquette.

Lamar Patterson led three Panther players in double figures (James Robinson - 12, Durand Johnson - 10). Vander Blue led the Golden Eagles with 22 points, followed by Devante Gardner with 13, Jamil Wilson with 11 and Todd Mayo with 10.

"We just simply didn't get it done," head coach Jamie Dixon said afterwards. "The rebounding is what stands out to me. You can point to a lot of things."

In addition to the loss, Pitt lost starting guard Travon Woodall just four minutes into the game, when he collided with Derrick Wilson. Woodall did not return, and his status for next Wednesday's game at Villanova is also unknown.

"We have to go through the process which is set in place, with the concussions," Dixon said.

Despite a late comeback in the second half to force overtime, the Panthers couldn't capitalize or build upon the late momentum. Pitt only led for a total of 2 minutes and 41 seconds in the game, and Marquette didn't lead by more than seven points until less than a minute in the overtime. A 2-10 shooting performance to start, and a 13-26 performance from the free throw line pretty much wrote the story for the Panthers.

Pitt trailed 33-30 at the half. Marquette led by as many as seven in the first half. Despite getting off to a 2-10 (20%) start from the field, finishing 9-24 (37.5%) for the half, Pitt was able to take the lead late in the first half, and only trailed by three at the break.

Marquette led for much of the first half thanks to a stellar three-point shooting performance. The Golden Eagles were 5-7 from three-point range in the first half, with four different plays contributing. Only Juan Anderson had more than one three-pointer in the half.

Though it wasn't the only factor resulting in Pitt's deficit, the Panthers were shooting just 1-6 from three-point range in the first half, before a Patterson three-pointer made it a 20-18 deficit with 5:20 left in the half. Patterson added a three on Pitt's next possession, then came up with a steal on the ensuing defensive series. He fed the ball to Johnson, who drove to the rim for a layup. Johnson also drew a foul on his way to the rim. His free throw gave Pitt a 28-27 lead with 1:56 left in the half.

Even though Marquette regained the lead at the end of the half, Pitt overcame a 2-10 shooting performance in the game's first eight minutes, before finishing the final 12 minutes of the first half with a 7-14 shooting performance.

Pitt had to battle some early foul trouble in the second half. Both Patterson and Steven Adams picked up their third respective foul in the early moments of the half. In addition to that, Johnson started the second half with Woodall out.

In addition to three-point shooting, Marquette has having an easy time in the inside game. When Trent Lockett was able to shut off Cameron Wright on a screen, with Gardner taking an easy layup, Marquette took a 42-36 lead. It wasn't their biggest lead of the game just yet, but Dixon was forced to take a timeout.

Out of the timeout, Patterson and Adams returned to the floor, both playing with three fouls. On his first shot attempt, Patterson stepped into a jumper, making it a 42-38 game.

Patterson added his third three-pointer of the game, making it a 44-41 deficit, with the game approaching the nine-minute mark. Even when Patterson missed, as he did on the next Pitt possession, Adams was there for the putback. Pitt was able to make it a one-point game, down 44-43 with 8:50 left. In just a span of three minutes, Patterson and Adams were able to bring Pitt back, despite playing with three fouls.

"We believe we have good depth, and we believe we can play some different guys," Dixon said. "The rotation got changed with Tray being out. Those are things you have to play through. Lamar had to play a lot of minutes, because we were without one of our perimeter guys. We have a lot of guys. We just did not get it done."

Marquette, though, still had answers. Though they weren't completely overpowering Pitt in the paint, Pitt wasn't doing much to stop anything, as Wilson and Gardner were able to get inside for layups. A three-pointer from Johnson kept Pitt to within two, 50-48, with 5:08 left.

Pitt looked like it was about to seize the momentum late, when Adams came up with a big block on a shot attempt by Lockett. Moore answered on the other end with a dunk, making it a 52-51 Marquette lead with 2:40 left.

Gardner, again, answered inside for the Golden Eagles, keeping his team in front, 54-51.

Robinson was able to lean in to a jumper--trying to draw a foul. He wasn't able to draw contact, but he converted the two.

Pitt wasn't so lucky on its next possession as Johnson missed a three-pointer with 40 seconds left. All Marquette had to do was secure the ball, and maybe draw a foul to close the game up.

They did not. As Gardner was brining the ball up, he severely overthrew the ball out of bounds, giving Pitt the ball with 23.7 seconds left.

"I don't know why Davante did what he did, I don't know why Trent did what he did," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said of the play.

It didn't look good for Pitt, even with one final possession. Pitt almost threw the ball away on the in-bounds pass, before Robinson tracked the ball down. His missed three-pointer was tipped out of bounds by a Marquette player with three seconds left. That's when the inexplicable happened. Robinson found a wide-open Patterson at the top of the key, who drained his fourth three-pointer of the game as time expired. Pitt battled back to tie it at 57-57.

Patterson was surprised at how open he was.

"I hit it," Patterson said. "I saw it was going to be there, the way they were playing it. I guess it was a defensive breakdown on their end."

Pitt wasn't having the best day shooting, but Patterson's performance was evident. Williams felt confident on how the play was defended, except for one part.

"Credit Patterson for making the shot; he whipped us all day long," Williams said. "As much as I want to give credit to Pitt, for whatever reason, Trent (Lockett) did not execute what we wanted him to, either. It looked like (Patterson) just had to pop out and shoot. We looked like clowns."

Despite the comeback efforts, Pitt seemed to use all of its energy making the comeback to tie it up. Marquette built its biggest lead of the game--eight points--with 57.9 seconds remaining in the overtime. The Golden Eagle converted 2-4 field goals in the extra frame, but were 13-16 from the free throw line. Pitt scored just five points in the overtime, which included just a 2-7 performance from the free throw line. Pitt ended up shooting just 13-26 free throws.

"It's huge," Patterson added, referring to the team's free throw shooting performance. "If we would have made half those (missed) throws, I'm sure we would have won."

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