Washington State falls to Pitt 57-53 in CBI
Washington State's sharp shooting didn't make the long trip across country to the Petersen Events Center with the Cougars, and now they'll spend a few more days in Pittsburgh than they hoped.
Reggie Moore scored 18 points, but the Cougars made were 4 for 13 from 3-point range in a 57-53 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 2 of the College Basketball Invitational championship series. The Panthers (21-17) knotted the best-of-three series and will host the Cougars (19-17) on Friday for the CBI title.
It's a unique situation the Cougars are in, but Moore appreciates the opportunity to take a win back from the Panthers.
''It's different, but it's fun,'' he said. ''We know each other really well, so I think the third game will be even more competitive.''
Talib Zanna scored 14 for the Panthers, who were playing without senior leader Ashton Gibbs for the first time this season. Gibbs was sidelined with an injured right ankle and his status for Friday is uncertain.
Moore, who scored 16 points in the second half, tied the game at 49 with two free throws with 1:41 left in the game. Lamar Patterson answered right away with a jumper and Pitt reclaimed the lead.
Patterson scored 12 for Pitt. DaVonte' Lacy and Abe Lodwick each scored nine for WSU.
After shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and 60 percent from 3-point range on Monday, the Cougars shot 43.6 percent from the floor Wednesday.
''I think we're very comfortable in our home arena and I think that probably helped with our shooting (there),'' Cougars coach Ken Bone said. ''But I felt like Pittsburgh did a great job of guarding Abe and guarding Patrick Simon, guys who hit some threes the other night.''
Washington State scored only 20 first-half points, the fewest Pitt had allowed in any half this season, and trailed by nine at the break. But the Panthers went 7:06 in the second half without making a basket, to keep the game close.
The Panthers used an early 13-2 run that included 3-pointers from Tray Woodall, J.J. Moore and John Johnson to grab the lead.
Forward Nasir Robinson, who had made his first 3-pointer of the season Monday, hit his second with 43 seconds left in the first half. That gave Pitt its largest lead of the game, 29-18.
Zanna was a surprising leading scorer for the Panthers. He had scored double digits just four times entering the CBI, yet has scored at least 11 points in four of Pitt's five CBI games.
Patterson said the performance shouldn't be a surprise.
''We expect a lot from Talib,'' he said. ''He's one of the strongest players on the team, if not the strongest. Today, he showed he was the strongest on the court.''