Jamarius Burton scored a career-high 20 points and hit the tiebreaking jumper with four-tenths of a second left to give Pittsburgh a 59-57 victory over St. John’s on Saturday afternoon at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Burton scored 14 in the second half and hit the Panthers’ only field goal in the final 4:23.
After Dylan Addae-Wusu sank two free throws for St. John’s to tie the game at 57-57 with 8.1 seconds left, Pitt called a timeout.
William Jeffress easily inbounded the ball as St. John’s attempted to apply pressure and Burton got the ball well beyond the midcourt line.
He cruised over midcourt, got around a screen by John Hugley, set up in the right side of the paint and released a short jumper over Joel Soriano that cleanly went into the net to cap the first meeting between the schools since the Panthers left the Big East for the ACC following the 2012-13 season.
Burton shot 5 of 13 from the floor as the Panthers survived shooting a season-low 32.0 percent. He made 9 of 10 free throws as Pittsburgh (4-7) shot 82.1 percent (23 of 28) from the line.
Mouhamadou Gueye added 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks as Pittsburgh withstood quiet days from leading scorer Hugley and Femi Odukale. Hugley was held to seven points and eight rebounds on 2-of-7 shooting while Odukale was limited to six points on 1-of-12 shooting and committed five turnovers.
The Red Storm (8-3) saw a three-game winning streak stopped and played without leading scorer Julian Champagnie. He was declared out for the game Saturday morning due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Without Champagnie’s 20.3 points, Addae-Wusu paced the Red Storm with 12 points. Posh Alexander added 11, seven rebounds and five assists and Soriano contributed 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks as the Red Storm shot a season-worst 34.9 percent.
After holding a 10-point lead midway through the first half, the Red Storm settled for a 35-31 lead by halftime.
The Red Storm held a 55-52 lead on a layup by Montez Mathis with 2:45 remaining but Burton hit four three throws in the next 45 seconds to give Pittsburgh a 56-55 lead and a free throw by Jeffress made it 57-55 with 16 seconds left to set up the dramatic finish.
–Field Level Media