Feb. 4, 2006
CINCINNATI, Ohio - For the second time this season, junior Mallorie Winn had the ball with the clock winding down and scored a game-winning bucket, hitting nothing but the net as time expired on a baseline jumper. Winn's basket gave Pitt a 64-63 win over host Cincinnati at the Fifth Third Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers (15-6, 6-4 Big East) won their third straight Big East game, a feat they had not accomplished since February 1995. For Winn (San Diego, Calif./Bishop's/Georgia Tech), it was her second last-second winner in less than a month after hitting a jumper with three seconds left to defeat visiting USF on Jan. 8.
"I want the ball when the game is on the line," Winn said afterwards. "This one was a little different, at the buzzer, but I'll want the ball the next time we're in that situation, too."
The ball was inbounded to Winn off a screen underneath the Bearcats' hoop by Marcedes Walker (Philadelphia, Pa./University City) with 2.1 seconds left and the Panthers trailing by one. Winn faked a shot, took one dribble and connected on the jumper as the horn sounded. Cincinnati dropped to 14-6 with the loss and is now 4-5 in the Big East.
The Bearcats had erased a 17-point Panther lead in the second half to take the lead with 2:31 to go. Treasure Humphries connected on two free throws to give Cincinnati a 59-58 advantage. With 1:41 to go, senior Cheron Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) scored on a putback to regain the lead for Pitt.
With a chance to increase the lead, the Bearcats' Shelly Bellman made a key steal and scored two of her game-high 20 points on a lay-up to put Cincinnati back on top, 61-60. Winn brought the ball down the length of the court and made a great bounce pass to Walker, who converted on the lay-up to continue the back-and-forth affair with just 41 seconds remaining on the clock.
Humphries came through again, making a running jumper in the paint, to give the Bearcats a 63-62 lead with 24 seconds left but the Panthers earned a key dual possession that set the stage for Winn with two seconds remaining.
The Panthers led by four at halftime, 30-26, and scored the first 11 points of the second half to take a 15-point lead. That lead was increased to 17 at 51-34 with 10:29 remaining, but a 25-7 run by the Bearcats over the next eight minutes put the victory in doubt.
Walker posted her eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, to go along with four blocks in 27 minutes of action. Freshman Maddy Brown (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) came off the bench to provide a spark for the Panthers, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the first half. Brown finished with five rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
But it was Winn who came through in the clutch as she did against USF. She made seven of her 14 field-goal attempts and added six rebounds and six assists against just one turnover in 37 minutes. Winn also had a game-high three steals against the Bearcats.
The Panthers return home to take on Louisville on Wednesday evening for a 7 p.m. tip at the Petersen Events Center.
NOTES: Pitt's six wins in the Big East this season are the most since going 7-9 in 1999-2000, surpassing last season's five conference wins...the Panthers shot 43.1 percent from the field, while holding the Bearcats to a 40.7 percent clip...Walker scored her 700th career point in the first half and now has 710 in 47 career games.
Panthers Drop Road Battle at Georgia Tech, 71-57
Pitt Looking to Sustain Momentum at Georgia Tech
COURTSIDE: Pitt Tops Virginia Tech in Second-Half Comeback
Wise Posts Pitt Record as Panthers Defeat Hokies, 72-64
Panthers, Hokies to Face Off Thursday at 7 p.m.
Rally Not Enough as Panthers Fall at No. 14/15 Duke, 62-48