Xavier Johnson made three key baskets in the final 2:25, leading the host Pittsburgh Panthers to a 62-57 win over the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.
With Miami leading 53-51, Johnson made a 3-pointer to put Pitt on top and then followed with a short jumper and a layup to help the Panthers (14-8, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) snap a two-game losing streak.
Rodney Miller scored 16 points to lead the Hurricanes (11-10, 3-8 ACC). Miami, which has lost seven of its past nine games, also got 15 points from freshman Isaiah Wong.
Neither team shot well. Pitt made 36.4 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 5-for-23 on 3-pointers (21.7 percent). Miami shot 38.8 percent, including 3-for-22 on 3-pointers (13.6 percent).
Pitt got 17 points from Trey McGowens and 15 from Au’Diese Toney. Johnson had 13 points and a game-high six assists, and Toney added a game-high 10 rebounds.
Miami was without starting point guard Chris Lykes, who missed his third straight game due to a groin injury. Starting shooting guard Kam McGusty also missed the game (back spasms). Lykes leads the team in scoring (15.7) and assists (2.6). McGusty is third in scoring (13.9).
Pitt was without forward Ryan Murphy, who suffered a concussion in practice on Thursday. Murphy is averaging 10.1 points in 21 games, including 12 starts.
Johnson had one of the game’s most spectacular plays. On a first-half fast break, he reacted to a steal attempt by putting the ball behind his back and then finishing for a layup.
A pair of freshmen — Pitt’s Justin Champagnie and Miami’s Anthony Walker — were issued technicals in the first half. Walker fouled Champagnie and then stood over him. Champagnie got up and shoved Walker, but the incident ended there.
Pitt, which forced nine first-half turnovers and got 11 points off of those miscues, took a 33-24 lead into the break.
With 12:53 left in the second half, Dejan Vasiljevic drove the length of the court, through traffic, and finished with a scoop layup, giving Miami a 40-39 lead. It was Miami’s first lead since the game’s first two minutes, and it capped a 14-6 run.
Then, after Johnson’s late heroics, Miami had a chance to tie the score with two seconds left in the game, but Harlond Beverly missed a deep 3-pointer that was about a dozen feet beyond the line.
—Field Level Media