Jamarius Burton scored 21 points, including a key three-point play late in the game, as Pittsburgh fended off Georgia Tech 89-81 on Wednesday afternoon in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament at Greensboro, N.C.
Fifth-seeded Pittsburgh (22-10) meets fourth-seeded and No. 21 Duke (23-8) on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals.
Federiko Federiko had 19 points, Greg Elliott poured in 16, Blake Hinson posted 12 points and Nelly Cummings racked up 11 points for Pitt.
The Panthers were one victory away on the last day of the regular season from holding the No. 1 seed but instead entered the tournament coming off back-to-back losses.
Ja’von Franklin’s 19 points led Georgia Tech (15-18), which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Dallan Coleman added 17 points, and Miles Kelly and Kyle Sturdivant each provided 16 points.
Pittsburgh led 44-31 at halftime, but the Yellow Jackets wiped out a second-half, double-digit deficit for the second consecutive day. Georgia Tech took down Florida State on Tuesday night.
Kelly’s three-point play with just less than 13 minutes left allowed the Yellow Jackets to surge in front of Pittsburgh at 52-50, capping a 14-4 run.
The Panthers recovered to secure a couple of four-point leads. The margin grew to 77-68 on Cummings’ drive with 3:50 to play. Georgia Tech had the next five points.
Later, the Yellow Jackets came out of the final media timeout with two free throws from Kelly to trim the gap to 79-75.
Burton’s three-point play came with 1:23 left and, after a Sturdivant basket, Hinson drained a 3-pointer. Elliott’s four free throws in the final 14 seconds remaining helped seal the outcome.
The Yellow Jackets used just six players for the second game in a row.
Pittsburgh shot 56.4 from the field, with Burton going 10-for-15.
At one juncture, the Panthers had outscored Georgia Tech 14-7 on free throws. The final tally, even with Pittsburgh’s late attempts, was 20-13 from the foul line.
–Field Level Media