CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami missed five consecutive free throws in the final 3 minutes of regulation before Manu Lecomte made one with 7 seconds left to send the game to overtime. That’s where Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson took over, scoring 10 of his 25 points to lead the 25th-ranked Panthers to a 59-55 victory over the Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
"If we were able to cash in on those it would have been a much different ending," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said of the five missed free throws.
Rion Brown, who led Miami with 21 points, missed two free throws during the key stretch.
"If me, Garrius (Adams), and Manu hit some free throws, the game’s over," Brown said.
Patterson knocked down a 3-pointer, made a layup, and converted 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the extra 5 minutes for the Panthers (19-4, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were coming off home losses to Duke and Virginia.
"Being a senior leader I didn’t want to just become a ghost when it came to overtime," Patterson said. "My team looked to me and I just wanted to come through for them."
"A good win for us on the road," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "Every ACC win is a great one and we’re excited about it."
Cameron Wright added 12 points and nine rebounds and Talib Zanna chipped in 10 points for Pittsburgh.
"It’s been a last couple of tough games and we were able to duke it out this game," Wright said.
Adams had 10 points for Miami (11-11, 2-7), which has lost four of five.
Both teams shot under 35 percent in the game as Pittsburgh made 18 of 54 shots (33.3 percent) and Miami shot 34.6 percent on 18-for-52 shooting.
Pittsburgh led 29-28 at halftime and neither team scored in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
"I think both teams were playing very conservatively in trying to get something going and the defense was pretty good," Larranaga said.
Pittsburgh went up 37-30, their largest lead of the game, on a layup by Josh Newkirk, but Miami responded with a 12-4 run to take the lead.
Miami appeared to have momentum, but went just 1 for 6 from the free throw line in the closing minutes.
Patterson’s free throw with 1:35 left in regulation gave Pittsburgh a 44-42 lead, but Brown countered with a 3-pointer.
Patterson followed with a driving layup from the left wing for a one-point lead with 13.1 seconds left. Lecomte made the second of two free throws with 7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 46.
The overtime began with Brown and Patterson, a pair of seniors, trading 3-pointers.
"Seniors are supposed to step up and when it comes to crunch time, younger guys look to you when the game gets tight," Patterson said. "He came through for his team, but fortunately we came up with the W."
Patterson made one of two free throws to make it 57-55 with 10.6 seconds left.
Brown had his pass to the corner tipped as he drove to the basket and it went to Patterson, who made two free throws to seal the victory.
"That was either James (Robinson) or Cam who poked it out of there and I had seen the ball flying so it was my opportunity to go grab it and luckily it came right to me," Patterson said.