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Pitt stops Marquette

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MILWAUKEE — No. 19 Pitt snapped its road frustrations at Marquette with a 58-51 victory over the surging Golden Eagles on Thursday night at Bradley Center.

Pitt had never won at Marquette in three tries under coach Jamie Dixon.
But the Panthers went on a 21-10 second-half run that included some unlikely scoring sources and held off a Marquette team fighting to stay on the NCAA Tournament at-large bubble.

Gary McGhee had 10 points and six blocks to lead Pitt (20-6, 9-4 Big East). Nasir Robinson, Brad Wanamaker and Jermaine Dixon also scored 10 points for Pitt. The Panthers’ leading scorer, Ashton Gibbs, went 0 for 6 from the field and finished with two points.

Jimmy Butler’s 14 points led Marquette (16-9, 7-6), which had won five in a row. Marquette’s leading scorer, senior forward Lazar Hayward, went 4 for 17 from the field and finished with 11 points.

Marquette, second in the nation in 3-point shooting, went 5 for 19 from behind the arc.

With the victory, Pitt earned its ninth 20-win season in a row, most in school history.

The Panthers, who have virtually assured themselves of a ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, will play host to No. 3 Villanova (22-3, 11-2) on Sunday in their first meeting since Nova’s 78-76 victory over Pitt in the 2009 NCAA Elite Eight.

Marquette saw its five-game winning streak snapped.

Pitt led 54-44 with 5:42 to play in front of a Gold Out Night crowd, but Marquette took advantage of Pitt turnovers to cut the lead to 56-51 on Hayward’s 3-point play with 2:16 to play. Marquette guard Maurice Acker missed a 3-pointer with about a minute to play and Dixon broke free for a dunk and a 58-51 Pitt lead with 45 seconds to play.

Pitt shot 55 percent from the field and had 19 assists on 23 baskets.

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