Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Rally for Ot Win Pitt 72 Oakland 62

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Panthers Rally for Ot Win Pitt 72 Oakland 62

Article excerpt

The 2009-10 season taught Pitt fans never to leave a game early no matter how dire the circumstances might appear. That was the year of the comeback for the Panthers, who recorded several miraculous victories that magical season.

No one would have blamed any of the 9,710 in attendance Saturday night if they had bolted for the exits early. Not with the home team playing poorly and trailing by nearly three touchdowns. But almost no one left, and, in the end, they were rewarded for their loyalty.

Three seasons after recording epic comebacks against Louisville and West Virginia at Petersen Events Center, the Panthers did it again Saturday night with a miraculous, 72-62 overtime victory against Oakland University of the Summit League.

Pitt trailed by 14 at halftime and by 18 with 11:35 remaining. It was the largest halftime deficit overcome in school history. The only better second-half comeback was when the Panthers rallied from 22 down to beat Purdue in 1960.

Tray Woodall played in those comeback victories against Louisville and West Virginia. He said this victory was more satisfying in some ways.

"When you think about it, the West Virginia game was a much longer game and much more exhausting," Woodall said. "With this new team, we have a bunch of young players, and this shows we have character. We didn't shoot well at all. We didn't defend well at all. The one thing we did do was fight and show character."

Oakland gift-wrapped the victory. The Golden Grizzlies committed four turnovers in the final 37 seconds of regulation.

James Robinson tied the score by making two free throw with 10 seconds remaining after he stole an Oakland inbounds pass and was fouled. Robinson atoned for an error a few seconds earlier when he was called for traveling when the Panthers trailed by two with 14.7 seconds left.

"It all started when I traveled," Robinson said. "After that, I was feeling bad. The only way I could make up for it was making that play. It wasn't even my man. I just went after it. …

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