Free Throws Lift Villanova Over Pitt

Cunningham cans two with 10 seconds left; Panther miscues costly
By Mike Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2008 9:39 PM CST
Villanova's Malcolm Grant, left, reaches around Pittsburgh's Ronald Ramon to try and knock the ball loose during the second half Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, in Villanova, Pa. Grant was high scorer with 22 points...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pitt was missing two starters, dressed only seven players, committed 22 turnovers and still had a chance to win today at Villanova. Instead, the Panthers committed one last turnover and lost their Big East opener to the 16th-ranked Wildcats, 64-63. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon offered no excuses, saying, "We didn't get tired. We battled."

Dante Cunningham made two free throws with 10 seconds left before Villanova forced the turnover. The Wildcats, led by Malcolm Grant's 22 points, won despite shooting only 34%. Grant, who played with cramps late in the game, drew praise from coach Jay Wright: "It's incredible. He's a freshman but he's the heart and soul of our team." The Villanova (12-2) bench outscored Pitt's two reserves, 39-7.