No.3 Pitt defeated No. 1 Connecticut, 70-60, this afternoon at the Petersen Events Center and become the first team in 11 years to beat a No.1-ranked team twice in the same season.
Sam Young led the Panthers (28-3, 15-3) with 31 points. Senior point guard Levance Fields, who was questionable with a bruised tailbone, had seven points and 11 assists.
Pitt twice led by 14 in the second half. It was 52-38 with 12:25 left. That's when Connecticut made a push to get back in the game. The Huskies went on a 12-0 run to trim the lead to 52-50 with 8:26 remaining. Pitt was 0 for 10 from the field with a turnover during Connecticut's run.
But Pitt answered with a 10-3 run to boost the lead back to 10. Young scored six points during the spurt, including a couple of authoritative jams that sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
Pitt led 38-28 at halftime. The Panthers opened up a 10-point lead with 11:28 remaining in the half after Brad Wanamaker scored seven points, including a 3-pointer to cap a 9-0 spurt.
Young carried the offensive load with 16 points in the first half. He was 7 for 12 from the field and had the onus of the offense on him because Blair picked up two fouls in 21 seconds and had to sit for the final 6:04 of the half. Young scored eight of his points after Blair exited the game.
As a team, Pitt shot 48.6 percent (17 for 35) in the half while Connecticut shot 34.4 percent (11 for 32). The Huskies stayed in the game because of junior center Hasheem Thabeet, who 14 points. Thabeet, who had five points and four rebounds in the first meeting between these two teams in Connecticut last month, was 6 for 9 from the field in the first 20 minutes.