PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jamel Artis scored 24 points, Michael Young added 19 and Sheldon Jeter hit a pair of 3-pointers in overtime to lift Pittsburgh to an 88-76 win over No. 11 Virginia on Wednesday night.
Jeter and Cam Johnson finished with 16 points each as the Panthers (12-3, 1-1 ACC) pulled away in the extra session after Virginia’s London Perrantes hit a deep 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation to tie it.
The Panthers made 13 of 21 3-pointers and shot 29 of 53 (54 percent) from the floor. Virginia began the night second in the country in field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 35 percent.
Perrantes led the Cavaliers (11-3, 1-2) with 16 points. Devon Hall added 15 and Marial Shayok 14, but Virginia was no match for Pitt in overtime. The Cavaliers have lost two straight for the first time since early last January.
Pitt led for most of the second half and appeared set to pick up the first signature win of coach Kevin Stallings’ tenure when Young hit a jumper with 1:10 to go and a defensive stop gave the Panthers the ball with 39 seconds left in regulation.
Virginia opted not to foul, and relied on its defense instead. Young missed and the Cavaliers got the ball to Perrantes. The junior then pulled up from the right wing and drilled a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left.
It was a sequence that mirrored Pitt’s 78-77 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, a game the Panthers had in their hands until Steve Vasturia’s 3 in the final seconds.
Perrantes, however, merely sent the game to overtime and rather than be deflated, Pitt responded. Jeter knocked down a pair of 3s and Artis followed with one of his own. This time, there would be no late defensive breakdown as the Panthers put up the most points against Virginia’s “pack line” defense since it gave up 87 in a loss to Tennessee on Dec. 30, 2013.
Not quite the start to ACC play the Cavaliers had in mind. Virginia came in off a 60-58 upset loss to Florida State on Saturday, a game in which the Seminoles put up 37 points in the second half, or more than Virginia gave up over an entire game in nonconference wins over St. Francis and Yale.
The Panthers’ start in the ACC was perhaps even more brutal as a five-point overtime lead got away against Notre Dame.
Pitt hardly seemed hungover early, leading throughout much of the first half by dominating in the paint and speeding up the Cavaliers just a bit. Still, a handful of missed free throws and a couple of careless possessions prevented the Panthers from creating much breathing room. Virginia closed to 35-32 at the break.
Virginia: The Cavaliers might be the most balanced team in the country, with eight players averaging between 5.9 and 9.9 points per game. Yet there’s little doubt Perrantes is the crunch-time guy.
Pittsburgh: Stallings has been critical of his team’s bench, saying the Panthers need more from the reserves if they want to be competitive in the ACC. Ryan Luther provided a massive spark, finishing with eight points and playing with the kind of confidence that could pay dividends down the road.
Virginia returns home to face Wake Forest on Sunday. The Cavaliers won the only meeting last season, pulling out a 72-71 victory on Darius Thompson’s banked 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Pittsburgh begins a two-game road trip with a visit to Syracuse on Saturday. The Panthers won all three games against the Orange last season.