Feb. 14, 2006
PITTSBURGH - This time it was a pass by Mallorie Winn to freshman Shavonte Zellous that led to the Panthers' women's basketball team winning a 58-56 thriller over visiting Seton Hall on Tuesday evening at the Petersen Events Center.
Zellous (Orlando, Fla./Jones) hit a jumper with 1.2 seconds left to break a tie and lead the Panthers (17-7, 8-5 Big East) to their third last-second victory in the past 11 days and fourth of the season. It also marked just the seventh time in the program's 32-year history that the Panthers have won at least 17 games in a season.
"I think that shot was all about confidence," Zellous said afterwards. "Mallorie was double-teamed and got the ball over to me and I made the shot because I had confidence in my shot."
Winn (San Diego, Calif./Bishop's/Georgia Tech) had made the Panthers' previous three game-winners and struggled offensively throughout the game, but made the key pass when she needed to, finishing with eight points and four assists.
It appeared that Pitt would be able to establish a big lead against the Pirates (6-18, 3-10 Big East) by scoring 11 of the game's first 13 points. After a timeout by Seton Hall, the Pirates went on a 17-8 run to tie the game at 19-19 with 7:32 remaining in the first half. Pitt was able to regain the lead on a jumper and two free throws by Zellous and held that lead into the break at 32-27.
The Panthers extended their advantage to 10 points on two occasions early in the second half, the second at 43-33 with 15:44 to go. The Pirates would not go away, however, and went on a 16-4 run over the next eight minutes to take their first lead of the game at 49-47. After two free throws by Cheron Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) tied the game again with 7:23 left, Zellous pushed Pitt back in the lead with two free throws of her own less than a minute later.
Pitt held that two-point lead over the last six minutes until a jumper by Shantel Brown tied it at 56-56 with just 24 seconds remaining. Winn brought the ball up the court for Pitt and the Pirates put two players on her as she made her way toward the free-throw line. That was when she tossed a low pass over to Zellous, who provided the final fireworks with her jumper.
Zellous finished with a career-best 13 points and added eight rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes of action. Marcedes Walker (Philadelphia, Pa./University City) scored 13 of her 17 points in the first half, and finished with seven rebounds and two blocks. Freshman Xenia Stewart (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) was also in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Seton Hall got a game-high 18 points from Monique Blake, who also finished with seven rebounds and two blocks. Brown added 16 points, while Washington, Pa., native Amber Harris chipped in 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The Panthers travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to take on West Virginia on Sunday, Feb. 19. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m. and can be seen live on FSN Pittsburgh or heard live on Fox Sports Radio 970 AM.
NOTES: The game was broadcast nationally on College Sports Television (CSTV) with Ann Schatz (play-by-play) and Debbie Antonelli (color analyst) calling the action...Pitt now has 17 wins and eight conference wins for the first time since the 1994-95 season, when the Panthers finished 17-11 and 10-8 in the conference...Pitt outshot Seton Hall, 42 percent to 39 percent, and committed just 11 turnovers against the Pirates...Taylor finished with seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.
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