VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Pitt overcame a seven-point second-half deficit and came back to defeat Villanova, 58-43, tonight at the Pavilion.
The Panthers (14-4, 2-3) won for the fifth consecutive time against Villanova (11-6, 2-2).
Reserve guard Trey Zeigler scored nine of his 13 points after halftime to lead the Panthers, who scored the final 15 points of the game after the score was tied with just over five minutes remaining.
Villanova grabbed the momentum just before halftime by finishing the first half on an 8-0 run and took a 23-22 lead into the intermission. The Wildcats kept the momentum at the beginning of the second half and built a 32-25 lead after a Ryan Arcidiacono jumper.
The Panthers stormed back with a 14-2 run and took a 39-34 lead with 8:44 remaining after J.J. Moore made two free throws. Villanova came back to tie the score at 43-43 with 5:13 left, but the Panthers scored the final 15 points of the game.
Pitt controlled play for much of the first half. The Panthers took a 22-15 lead after a Durand Johnson 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining, but it was all Villanova for the remainder of the half.
Darrun Hilliard converted a 3-point play after a turnover by James Robinson and then made two more free throws after getting fouled on Villanova's next possession.
Arcidiacono then drilled a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left for the 23-22 edge.
Pitt committed 10 turnovers in the first half and shot 31 percent from the field. Fortunately for the Panthers, the Wildcats were almost equally accommodating. They committed eight turnovers and shot 30 percent.
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published January 17, 2013 2:15 AM