PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tony Clark scored 17 points as Virginia held off a late charge to top Pittsburgh 59-56 on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing by 14 in the second half, Pitt used a 7-0 run to close to within two points in the final two minutes. But Pitt guard Trey McGowens’ 3-point attempt with under 10 seconds to play went off the rim and Ryan Murphy’s last-dash heave didn’t get off before the buzzer.
Clark provided much of the cushion for Virginia (19-7, 11-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). With Pitt leading after the game’s first seven minutes, he went on a personal 7-0 run to put Virginia in the lead for good. Clark finished 6 of 11 from the floor, made 2 of 3 from 3-point range and also grabbed five rebounds.
He was also a key cog in the Cavaliers’ defense that stifled the Panthers. Pitt shot 38.6% overall and was 3 of 15 from 3-point range. After trailing by just two at the half, Pitt missed 12 of its first 13 shots in the second period while Virginia pushed the lead.
Mamadi Diakite had 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Virginia. Tomas Woldentensae and Braxton Key also finished with 10 points.
Xavier Johnson had 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting for the Panthers (15-13, 6-11). Au’Diese Toney scored 13 on 6 of 8, including a 3-point play in the final minute to cut the Virginia lead to two.
Virginia: Won its fourth straight game in league play for the first time this season. The Cavaliers have now won seven of their last eight, with the lone setback coming on the road at No. 5 Louisville. It’s come at a good time as Virginia, now 11-5 in conference play, is three wins clear of NC State for the fourth and final double-bye position in the ACC Tournament.
Pitt: For the second straight season, it appears the Panthers have run out of gas in the midst of ACC play. Pitt has now lost four straight dating to Feb. 8 and is 2-6 this month. Last season, Pitt lost 13 straight league games and went 0-7 in February.
Virginia: Will stay on the road to face in-state foe Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Feb. 26. The Cavaliers have won three straight against the Hokies, including a 65-39 win earlier this season.
Pitt: Hosts Syracuse on Feb. 26 for its final home game of the season. The Panthers are 11-6 at home.
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