TAMPA -- South Florida defeated No. 17 Pitt, 70-61, this afternoon to send the Panthers to their third loss in the past four games.
Pitt (16-5, 6-3) was led by Gilbert Brown, who scored a career-high 25 points. Brad Wanamaker added 14 and Ashton Gibbs 11.
Pitt had to play the game without senior guard Jermaine Dixon, who sat out with a sprained right ankle. Dixon is Pitt's best defender, and the Panthers sorely missed his presence. South Florida guard Dominque Jones took advantage of Dixon's absence and scored 37 points to lead the Bulls (14-7, 4-5), who have won three consecutive games for the first time since joining the Big East Conference.
Pitt trailed by 14 points with 10:10 remaining. The Panthers cut the lead to four with 5:33 remaining, but the Panthers could not draw any closer. Gilbert Brown had a chance to cut the lead to three with 35 seconds remaining, but he missed two free throws. The Bulls were able to close out the game after that.
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com or 412-263-1230.