No. 23 Pitt 73, Villanova 64/OT: Postgame Recap and Audio
By: Anthony Pulleo
Senior Day generally brings about a lot of emotion, most of which can be described as happiness, sadness, and pride. Sunday’s game against Villanova not only provided the usual senior day emotion but also thrill, exhilaration, and suspense. In the final home game for the Panthers, what better way than to send off seniors Dante Taylor and Tray Woodall than with an overtime win against their cross-state rival? And that is exactly what happened as Pitt defeated Villanova 73-64 in overtime to secure their 11th Big East victory. Despite going into halftime down 28-25, the emotion in the Petersen Events Center was not deflated. Durand Johnson found the bottom of the net three critical times from beyond the arc to bring the Panthers to within three with under a minute remaining in regulation. It was the freshman James Robinson that provided the next electric jolt with a 3-pointer from the corner with 33.3 seconds left to tie the game at 57. The Panthers were then able to fend off a last second Villanova possession to force overtime.
The Panthers came out strong in the overtime period with Talib Zanna himself going on a 7-0 run. Villanova tried diligently to rally back, but the atmosphere in the Pete would not let Taylor and Woodall end their home careers on a losing note in an arena known for winning. In the final seconds of the game, Taylor fittingly slammed a monster jam on a pass from Woodall and then embraced Woodall amid endless cheers from the Panther faithful. Zanna finished the game with 14 points and an astounding career-high 19 rebounds. James Robinson also had 14 points and Woodall contributed 13 points and 11 assists in the victory.
Steven Adams was absent from game-action with an ankle injury sustained in practice earlier in the week. However, Coach Jamie Dixon said he expects Adams to be back for the DePaul game. The Panthers final regular season game will be on the road against DePaul on Saturday with tipoff scheduled for 2:00pm.
Head Coach Jamie Dixon
Pitt Players- Dante Taylor, Tray Woodall, and James Robinson
Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright