UNC beats Pitt in final seconds, 68-67

Sophomore guard Jasmine Whitney was just two foul shots away from giving Pitt the victory against UNC Sunday afternoon, but failed to hit either as Pitt lost, 68-67, and stayed winless in the ACC at 0-3.

The Panthers (8-8) led the Tar Heels (11-5) 16-14 in the first quarter, after a 6-0 run at the end of the quarter. Junior center Kalista Walters and Whitney contributed six and four points respectively to lead Pitt in scoring.  

At the end of the first half, the Tar Heels were up 33-30. First-year center Janelle Bailey led UNC with 12 points in the first half and grabbed four rebounds. Whitney and Walters led the Panthers with 10 points each. Redshirt junior Yacine Diop, who is usually leader on the offensive side of the ball, shot a poor 3-10 in the first half.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half, with Pitt shooting 42.4 percent and UNC shooting 36.7 percent. It was even worse from 3-point range, with the Tar Heels shooting 2-7 and the Panthers shooting 0-7.

After going down 38-35 early in the third, Pitt went on a 9-0 run that led to a UNC timeout. Diop, Walters, Whitney and Nelson all contributed to the run to give Pitt a 44-38.

The Panthers continued to play well in the quarter leading 51-45 at the end of the third. Pitt outscored the Tar Heels 21-12 and were led by Diop who scored six points, shooting 3-5 from the field.

The Panthers held a 60-52 lead with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, when UNC went on an 8-0 run and tied the game at the five minute mark.

The game was still tied with a minute to go when Pitt took a 67-65 lead with 51 seconds left in regulation off a jumper by Whitney. The Tar Heels responded to Whitney’s shot with a 3-pointer from senior guard Jamie Cherry, giving UNC a 68-67 lead with just 12 seconds remaining.

Pitt was given once last chance when Whitney was fouled and given two free throws in the final seconds of the game. Whitney missed both shots and the clock ran out to give the Panthers back to back losses.

The Panthers will travel to Blacksburg, Va. to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies Thursday at 7 p.m.