PITTSBURGH (AP) – Senior guard Jonathan Milligan had 13 points, including a pair of clutch free throws, and Pitt held off a late charge from Delaware State to escape with a 74-68 victory on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (7-5) led by as many as 27 in the first half and by 22 at halftime, but their lead slipped away in the second half.
Delaware State (2-11) forced Pitt into taking some outside shots, and the Panthers, who had hit 8 of 16 from 3-point range in the first half, cooled off significantly, making 5 of 19 from beyond the arc after the break.
A corner 3-pointer by Hornets forward Artem Tavakalyan cut the Pitt lead to two with 22.1 seconds remaining, but Milligan made both free throws at the other end to restore a two-possession lead.
Junior Jared Wilson-Frame also had 13 points for Pitt, while freshman Khameron Davis finished with 10.
Kavon Waller scored 17 points and Pinky Wiley added 16 points and seven assists for the Hornets.
Delaware State: The Hornets remain mired in a season-long 11-game losing streak against Division I opponents. But they’ve seen progress since their 49-point loss to Duquesne on Dec. 9. After losing to in-state rival Delaware by nine on Dec. 17, the Hornets closed hard against Pitt, their first power-conference opponent of the season.
Pitt: The Panthers continued to navigate the loss of senior power forward Ryan Luther. Luther missed his second game in what will be a multiple-week absence with a stress reaction in his right foot. Replacing him remains a work in progress, as the Panthers were outrebounded 37-27 and outscored in the paint 20-14.
Delaware State will continue its three-game road swing with a trip to Nebraska on Friday.
Pitt will finish its non-conference schedule with a home game against Towson on Friday.
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