PITTSBURGH — Junior guard Cameron Wright scored a game-high 18 points, including four decisive free throws in the second overtime, and the No. 25 Pittsburgh escaped with a 62-57 victory over ACC cellar-dwelling Virginia Tech.
Pitt (20-4, 8-3 in the ACC) barely avoided its third consecutive home loss by upstart Virginia Tech (8-15, 1-10), which lost its 10th straight game.
It is the Hokies’ longest losing streak since they also lost 10 in a row during the 2001-02 season.
Pitt next hosts No. 1 Syracuse on Wednesday night.
Wright made two free throws with 3:36 left in the second overtime to put Pitt ahead for good, 56-54, then gave the Panthers a four-point lead when he drained two more from the foul line 37 seconds later.
Virginia Tech got to within 59-57 on freshman guard Devin Wilson’s free throw with 30 seconds left. However, Pitt scored the final three points of the game on free throws, one by senior forward Lamar Patterson and two by freshman guard Josh Newkirk.
The teams combined to score only one field goal in the two five-minute overtime periods, a jumper by Patterson with 4:19 left in the second overtime. He was 1-for-9 from the field, though he did have six assists.
Patterson was held to five points, 12 below his team-leading average and did not score in regulation. Pitt sophomore guard James Robinson had 16 points and Newkirk finished with 11 points.
Virginia Tech was led by senior forward Jarell Eddie’s 15 points, all on 3-point field goals. Wilson and sophomore forward Joey van Zegeren each added 10 points.
A four-point play by Robinson with 33 seconds remaining in regulation tied the score, 48-48, and forced overtime. Robinson hit a 3-pointer from the left corner and was fouled by Eddie.
Wilson made two free throws with 43 seconds left in the first overtime knot the score, 52-52, and force a second extra period.
Eddie drew Virginia Tech into a 44-44 tie when he made a 3-point shot with 4:02 left in regulation. Wilson’s basket with 3:03 put the Hokies ahead and van Zegeran’s two free throws made it a four-point game with 40 seconds to go before Robinson’s four-point play forced overtime.
Pitt jumped to a 13-5 lead with 15:21 left in the first half on a jumper by freshman forward Michael Young.
Virginia Tech chipped away at the lead and went ahead, 19-18, on a 3-pointer by Eddie with 5:38 remaining before Pitt bounced back to take a 27-26 halftime lead.
Virginia Tech went up 34-29 on a tip-in by senior forward Cadarian Raines with 16:27 left in regulation.
NOTES: Virginia Tech has a week off until hosting Miami (Fla.) next Saturday at Blacksburg, Va. … It was a homecoming for Virginia Tech freshman PG Devin Wilson, who grew up in nearby McKees Rocks, Pa., and was an all-state basketball and football player at Montour High School. … The teams met for the first time since the quarterfinal of the 2004 Big East Tournament. Pitt won that game, 74-61, at Madison Square Garden in New York. … Patrick Gallagher, Pitt’s new chancellor, was introduced to the crowd during a first-half timeout, after being elected to the post Saturday morning by the school’s board of trustees.
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