Trey McGowens scored 18 points as host Pittsburgh surged past Northern Illinois 59-50 in the first-ever meeting between the programs on Monday.
Xavier Johnson added 11 points and Eric Hamilton had 10 for the Panthers, who finished the game on a 15-0 run and improved to 8-3.
Eugene German led Northern Illinois (6-5) with 18 points and was its only player to reach double figures. German was 4 of 12 from 3-point range.
Pittsburgh held a 13-10 lead through a choppy first 10 minutes filled with turnovers and numerous missed shots from both teams.
Northern Illinois then scored the next nine points — started by a dunk and 3-pointer from Nathan Scott — and went ahead 19-13 with 7:11 left in the first half. German knocked down a trey to give the Huskies a 22-16 advantage.
After Pitt missed its first eight 3-pointers, McGowens hit one from the wing with 41 seconds left in the half as Pittsburgh trailed 30-29 at halftime.
Lacey James threw down a dunk to put the Huskies ahead 36-31, but McGowens came back with a 3-pointer to close within 36-34.
Northern Illinois twice went up by seven, including at 46-39, but McGowens responded again, hitting his third 3-pointer. Ryan Murphy followed with a corner jumper to pull the Panthers within 46-44.
The Huskies scored the next four points to quickly go back ahead by six with 6:35 left, but they would not score again.
Pitt’s Justin Champagnie drove to the basket and finished with an emphatic two-handed dunk to give Pittsburgh a 52-50 lead with 2:42 left.
Northern Illinois’ Noah McCarty then missed a jump hook in the paint, and Champagnie added a layup for the Panthers, who extended their lead to 54-50. After a turnover, McGowens extended the run to 13-0 with his fourth trey and a 57-50 advantage with 57.4 seconds remaining.
Northern Illinois missed its final 11 shots.
—Field Level Media