4-1-Zoo: St. John’s Beats Pitt On Last Second Shot, 60-59.

PITTSBURGH — Ashton Gibbs scored a career-high 26 points and Travon Woodall hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds to go, but No. 4 Pitt fell to St. John’s on a Dwight Hardy layup with 1.2 seconds left, 60-59.

After Woodall’s 3-pointer, Hardy took the ball and drove the length of the court, sneaking around Gilbert Brown on the baseline and throwing a near-blind layup on the rim and in for the win.

The loss is Pitt’s first non-conference road loss of the year. The Panthers now hold a 24-3 overall record and 12-2 Big East record.

Pitt fell behind early as St. John’s couldn’t miss from the field. At the same time, Pitt had trouble holding on to the ball.

St. John’s jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and led 14-7 with 11:57 remaining as the Panthers turned the ball over five times. Pitt struggled with the Red Storm’s full-court press and it took a while to get comfortable with advancing the ball up court.

St. John’s shot 7-of-10 from the field in the opening 10 minutes and led 19-10 with 8:31 remaining in the first half. However, that’s when Pitt began to get comfortable with its game.

Jamie Dixon did a good job of using timeouts and media breaks to dial up plays offensively. He also chose to switch to a 2-3 defense in the later stages of the first half — effective as well. In turn, Pitt was able to cut in to the Red Storm’s lead rather methodically.

Ashton Gibbs, in his first game back after missing three straight with a MCL sprain, hit three 3-pointers and finished the half with 15 points. Two Gibbs 3s brought the St. John’s lead to 24-20 with 3:53 remaining in the half.

Gibbs added another 3-pointer and then hit four free throws as St. John’s coach Steve Lavin and guard D.J. Kennedy were both called for technical fouls in the final three minutes. Pitt led by one, 27-26, at halftime.

The Panthers and Red Storm remained close throughout the second half. Pitt led, 37-35, five minutes in to the second half and held a 40-39 edge with 11:43 left.

St. John’s overtook Pitt and built a 3-point lead, 43-40, with 10:43 remaining, but Pitt jumped back in front with a 3-point play by Gilbert Brown, a jumper by Woodall, a tip in by Dante Taylor and then a 3-pointer by Gibbs to set his career high of 26 points.

Taylor took a Brown pass for a dunk on Pitt’s next possession for a 52-46 lead with 7:09 to play. Unfortunately for Pitt, the Red Storm entered the double-bonus just over a minute later and it came back to bite the Panthers in the form of 8 points from the line.

Pitt managed just two field goals the rest of the way — one being Woodall’s 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds to go — and St. John’s capitalized to win, 60-59.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog

  • Choov

    Hardy was out of bounds on that last shot! The refs blew it! See the pic below.

    • Ryan S.

      This photo is inconclusive at best. Bad angle, and were his heels on the floor? I would have to go with the call on the court for this one, in bounds, score the basket, game over.

  • Bill S.

    Whether or not the heel of Hardy’s foot was on the line, refs hardy ever, if never, give the player the benefit of the doubt if the ball of their foot is inbound and their heel hanging over the line. The refs did blow it, and I feel that the ref that didn’t make the call wasn’t going to get in to it with Lavin and the hometown crowd. He was right on top of the play looking down at the line and felt that he could handle Pitt’s objections, since they wouldn’t mob him. The “fix” was in and it cost Pitt. The officiating this year in college basketball is the worse I’ve seen it in over 20 years. Too many older men that should be playing cards at a retirement village.

    • stoopm

      Come on, first it was the NFL against James Harrison and the Steelers, then the no call against the Caps for the hit on Crosby, now this? A conspiracy against all Pittsburgh Sports teams? Stop whining, a top 5 ranked team shouldn’t have allowed this game to come down to a last second play.

  • fakearm

    I’m with Choov and Bill. Direct overhead view showed it. A bad no call.

  • Chris Gates

    Honestly, guys, his heels weren’t touching the floor. You can watch the replay on ESPN3.com … I was with you for a while, but it appears the officials made the right call.

  • Mon River Towing

    I thought he stepped out, but thought it was just me. Looks like a lot of you saw it too. Shame, because Texas lost today too.

  • Pennsylvania 6-5000

    Gil’s foot was against the baseline. Hardy can only get around his leg by hooking his arm (foul) and then stepping on the baseline(turnover). Pitt got hosed!

    • Ryan S.

      Then why wasn’t it called? I would rather take the word of someone on the floor (the ref) than you, unless of course you were at the game and situated on the baseline and not a diehard Pitt fan.

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