Panthers hold off Hoyas

Published: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 12:10 a.m.
PITTSBURGH - Georgetown was the bully on the Big East block for years. The Hoyas weren't about to willingly cede that title to Pittsburgh, even if the Panthers are now seen as the most physical team in a notoriously tough conference.
Julius Page made a free throw with .4 seconds remaining to cap No. 2 Pittsburgh's second-half rally and the Panthers, making free throws when it counted, held off Georgetown 65-64 Saturday.
Chevy Troutman, Pitt's only reliable free throw shooter for much of the intense, foul-filled game, keyed the comeback by scoring all but one of his 20 points in the second half. His five consecutive points gave Pitt the lead for good at 59-56.
The Panthers are 15-1 for the second straight season and 5-0 in the Big East for the first time. In their first close home game this season, they held Georgetown's Mike Sweetney to 12 points, nearly 10 below his average, yet still had a struggle.
"It was physical, but you've got to expect that," Pitt coach Ben Howland said. "Georgetown wrote the book on physical. It wasn't dirty, but it was a hard-fought, physical game."
Pitt seemed to be in control, leading 64-60 with 24 seconds remaining, but Drew Hall and Brandon Bowman each made two free throws to tie it. Bowman, a freshman, made his with 3.5 seconds remaining.
Page then took Jaron Brown's inbounds pass and, driving from near midcourt, was fouled by Hall as he lost his balance while nearing the basket. Page made the first free throw, then intentionally missed the second so time could expire before Georgetown (10-5, 2-3) could get off a desperation shot.
"I was sure he was going to make it," Pitt's Brandin Knight said. "Everybody talks about our (mediocre) foul shooting, but I had the utmost confidence he was going to make that shot."

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