Vanderbilt basketball faced a hot Pitt team on a five-game winning streak and shot like it from the 3-point line, but the Commodores weathered the storm, coming back in the final seconds to notch a win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday at Memorial Gymnasium.
Pitt (6-4) took the one-point lead after a quick 3-pointer and then a mid-range jumper late in the game, but left enough time on the clock for Vanderbilt (5-4) to get another possession. Guard Tyrin Lawrence drove to the basket and was fouled, sinking both free throws with 1.1 seconds left. The Panthers' final prayer fell short and the Commodores hung on for the 75-74 win, giving Vanderbilt a strong nonconference victory for the resume.
Pitt from deep
Pitt shoots a lot of threes, giving it a high-variance offense. The Panthers started out hot from downtown after several defensive breakdowns from Vanderbilt leading to open looks, plus a few contested makes, overall shooting 48% from three. Meanwhile, the Commodores struggled with their 3-point shooting.
Vanderbilt started off the game fouling a 3-point shooter and that proved the omen for the rest of the game.
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Pitt shot far better than Vanderbilt from the field and from three, but turnovers and offensive rebounding gave the Commodores far more attempts.
Vanderbilt crashed the offensive boards hard, giving themselves two or even three shots on many possessions. That kept the Commodores in the game despite Pitt's hot shooting, and a trapping defense forced the Panthers into turnovers while Vanderbilt took care of the ball. The Commodores also blocked more shots thanks to Liam Robbins and Emmanuel Ansong and a smaller lineup from Pitt.
After missing the win over Wofford with back spasms, wing Jordan Wright returned against Pitt. Wright came off the bench initially in favor of Vanderbilt's two-big lineup but played the majority of the game. Though Wright was inefficient shooting, he led the team in assists while providing positive value on the boards. He finished with 12 points, five rebounds, six assists and a block.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt basketball beats Pitt in final seconds