PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pitt had two chances to beat Washington State Monday night with just seconds remaining in Game 1 of the College Basketball Invitational Finals but failed and lost, 67-66.
Trailing, 67-66, with 3.5 seconds left, Tray Woodall ran the length of the floor and had a layup attempt blocked by WSU’s D.J. Shelton. The Panthers still had possession with 0.8 seconds, but Lamar Patterson’s jumper fell short and the Cougars won.
Washington State is now just one win away from claiming the CBI title, owning a one-game-to-none lead in this best-of-three series.
Woodall led Pitt in scoring with 16 points, but he and the Panthers went cold from the field for long stretches of time in the second half, allowing Washington State to grab a big lead and hold on for the win.
The Cougars trailed Pitt at halftime, 38-35, but opened the second half on a 10-4 run in the opening four minutes to grab a 45-42 lead. Later, WSU went on a 9-0 run to earn a 60-48 lead with eight minutes left in regulation.
Pitt eventually stormed back and gave itself a chance to win the game late. Talib Zanna pulled the Panthers to within two, 67-65, with 1:01 left and could have tied the game when he went to the free throw line for two shots with 4.8 seconds remaining.
However, Zanna made his first attempt and the second clanked off the front of the rim, forcing Pitt to foul. Both late chances fell short and Pitt now trails the Cougars 1-0 in the best-of-three finals.
Game 2 is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Petersen Events Center. Game 3 (if necessary) will be 7 p.m. Friday at the Petersen Events Center.