Final Score: Cincinnati 66 - Pittsburgh 63
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jaquon Parker scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds, as Cincinnati held off No. 22 Pittsburgh, 66-63, at the Petersen Events Center.
Sean Kilpatrick tallied 19 points and Dion Dixon 13 for the Bearcats (11-3, 1-0 Big East), who took their conference opener while dealing the Panthers their third consecutive defeat. The Bearcats have won six in a row since suffering a loss to Xavier on December 10, a game that ended in a brawl.
Cincinnati picked up its first win at Pitt since a 78-75 overtime victory on January 10, 1979. The Bearcats were 0-3 at Pitt since joining the Big East.
"We're extremely excited to come and get our first win at Pitt," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "I give all the credit to my players. They're playing is unbelievable right now. I'm just proud of my team. Extreme effort at all times."
Nasir Robinson had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Pittsburgh (11-4, 0-2), which could have tied the game in the closing seconds, but Ashton Gibbs and Lamar Patterson both missed three-point shots.
Patterson totaled 13 points and Dante Taylor had 11 boards for the Panthers, who opened Big East play with a 72-59 loss at Notre Dame on Tuesday. Sunday marked Pitt's third loss in its last 30 Big East Conference home games and just their fifth defeat in its last 67 as the host team.
The Panthers were in front by as many as eight points in the first half, but it was even at 31 at the break.
The contest remained tight throughout the second half, but the Bearcats were able to gain a six-point cushion with under five minutes remaining after a Dixon jumper. A three from Dixon expanded the lead to 66-59 with 3:04 left, but even though the Bearcats didn't score again, they held on.
A layup from Gibbs with 1:59 left and two free throws from John Johnson cut the margin to three with 40 seconds left.
After Parker missed a free throw with 29 seconds left, Johnson turned the ball over at the other end. Kilpatrick then couldn't hit a 1-and-1 attempt, but Gibbs missed from the right corner and after a timeout, Patterson's try didn't connect at the buzzer.
"Not good possessions, no question about it," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "I thought we got really good looks to start the game and in the second half we got to the lane but didn't finish. We need to get to the basket more and get other guys shots."