Jamarius Burton poured in 31 points and host Pittsburgh used good efficiency across the last 12 minutes for a 76-74 comeback victory against No. 25 North Carolina on Friday afternoon.
Blake Hinson added 16 points and Nelly Cummings had nine points to boost the Panthers (10-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) in their ACC home opener.
The Tar Heels made it tight by scoring the last five points in the final 10 seconds. They made just one 3-point shot in the second half.
Armando Bacot racked up 22 points and 13 rebounds, but North Carolina (9-5, 1-2) had a four-game winning streak snapped. RJ Davis had 16 points and Pete Nance posted 10 for the Tar Heels.
Burton shot 14-for-17 from the field, missing his only 3-point attempt.
Pittsburgh defeated North Carolina for the second season in a row.
The Tar Heels led throughout the game until Pittsburgh pulled even at 58-58 on Cummings’ jumper with 6:37 remaining.
The Panthers went ahead for the first time since the opening minute of the game on Burton’s three-point play with 3:59 to play. His basket on the next Pittsburgh possession stretched the lead to 65-62.
North Carolina wasn’t even again until Black’s two free throws with 1:58 to play. By then, the Tar Heels had gone more than 4 1/2 minutes without a field goal.
Hinson’s 3-pointer on the ensuing possession after a timeout put the Panthers back on top. A North Carolina turnover came before Hinson rebounded Burton’s missed jumper and then converted two free throws at the 36-second mark for a 72-67 lead.
After the Tar Heels built a 55-46 lead, the Panthers responded with a 10-2 run. Hinson and Cummings drilled 3-pointers during that rally.
North Carolina led 40-34 at halftime despite drawing only two fouls on the Panthers, who trailed by as many as nine points in the opening half. Five different Tar Heels hit at least one 3-point shot in the half.
Burton had 15 first-half points, helping negate the 10 points and nine rebounds from Bacot.
–Field Level Media