Pittsburgh forward Dante Taylor hit a short jumper in the final minute to extend Pitt’s lead to six and, in turn, help the Panthers stave off UConn’s rally. Behind balanced offense and physical interior play, Pitt held on, 69-61, dropping the Huskies to 12-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big East.
STAR OF THE GAME: Ryan Boatright was anemic in the first half, but electric in the second. After a 1-for-7 start from the field, the 5-foot-10 sophomore finished with a game-high 20 points, six assists and four rebounds. He did, however, convert only 1-of-7 3-point attempts.
KEY TO THE LOSS: UConn shot just 7-for-24 in the first half and no player converted multiple field goals. The Huskies worked the zone more efficiently in the second, but failed on a few defensive rotations that resulted in open jumpshots for Pitt.
*A Boatright reverse layup, plus the foul, cut Pitt’s advantage to 55-50 with 6:20 remaining. Shabazz Napier then hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to trim the lead further and a Niels Giffey steal and dunk tied it at 55.
*Pitt forward Talib Zanna, who entered with just seven points on 1-for-11 shooting in his past two games, scored six in the first five minutes to help the Panthers to an early lead. Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 13.
*Omar Calhoun came through with another solid offense effort, scoring all but three of his 14 points in the second half. The 6-foot-5 freshman was often the beneficiary of Boatright’s penetration.
*Shabazz Napier (shoulder) was limited, tallying just eight points on five field goal attempts. Napier missed a 3-pointer that could have closed the gap to 63-62 in the final minute.