March 3, 2007
Panthers rally falls short against Marquette
Marquette completed a season-sweep of the Panthers, picking up a 75-71 win. Not only do they complete the season-sweep over the Panthers, but the win may have done even more to help the Golden Eagles and hurt the Panthers. Aaron Gray led the Panthers with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and was a pleasant 4-of-5 from the free throw line. The Golden Eagles had a career-game from David Cubillan, who had 20 points, including four three-pointers, and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
"They lowered the shoulder, and got by us," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said after the game. "They had some guys step up, so you have to give (Marquette) credit. I'm proud of our guys and how they battled back. We put ourselves in a hole, and it was too much to come back. I can't tell you how disappointing it is. It hurts. Our focus was good all week. We just couldn't come out and do it well. We just didn't do the things right, didn't shoot as well as we needed to. We need to do a better job of getting the ball inside."
It was a big game for the Panthers in terms of their fate for the Big East tournament. With the loss, the Panthers need Seton Hall to win at Freedom Hall tomorrow at Louisville If the Cardinals win, they get the No. 2 seed, and will face the winner of the West Virginia-Providence game. The Panthers beat the Mountaineers twice, and also beat Providence.
If Pitt gets the No. 3 seed, they will face the winner of the Marquette-St. Johns game, meaning they could see this same Golden Eagle team, that now has won its last three games over the Panthers. Tom Crean is 4-1 all-time against Pitt.
The Panthers trailed by 13 by halftime. Only in their loss to Louisville did they trail at the half by more, a deficit of 17. The only remote thing going well for the Panthers in the first half was a 4-of-9 performance from three-point range.
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