Panthers lose for only third time in last 46 home games

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jamie Dixon learned what longtime Pitt coach
Paul Evans often discovered during the 1980s and 1990s: Sometimes
having better talent isn't enough against a John Thompson-coached
Georgetown team.

Brandon Bowman drove the lane for the go-ahead basket with 8.4
seconds remaining and Pittsburgh (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) then failed twice to get
off a shot, falling 67-64 to the Hoyas on Wednesday night in the
Panthers' second upset loss in as many games.

Pitt followed up a stunning 69-66 loss Sunday to Bucknell with
one nearly as surprising -- only its third in 46 home games since
the Petersen Events Center opened for the 2002-03 season.

Georgetown (9-3) had lost eight consecutive Big East games
dating to last season, only to win its conference debut under new
coach John Thompson III -- the son of the Hoyas coach who was 24-10
against Pitt from 1982-99.

The Hoyas hit 9 of 12 3-point attempts during the first half,
when they once led 28-9, then ran their Princeton-style offense
featuring numerous back-door cuts and quick passes to perfection in
the second half.

"Obviously, I'm happy," Thompson said. "The ball bounced our
way the last two minutes. It was a big win against a terrific

And a struggling Pitt team, too.

The Panthers (10-2), who have shared or won the last three Big
East regular-season titles, lost two in a row for the first time
since Notre Dame and Miami beat them during a four-day span in
January 2002. They hadn't lost consecutive home games since Feb.
2001 losses to Notre Dame and Georgetown.

"This really hurts, to lose two straight games at home," said
Chris Taft, who led Pitt with 20 points. "We've got to find a way
to get through."

Ashanti Cook hit four of Georgetown's 11 3-pointers and scored
23 points, including a free throw with 5.2 seconds left after
Pitt's Chevon Troutman threw the ball away on a long pass.

"He kept us in it on some possessions where we could have
crumbled," Thompson said. "He hit some shots to stop runs and
keep us in the game."

Pitt got the ball back with a chance to tie it after Cook missed
his second free throw, but Antonio Graves was tied up near midcourt
and the Panthers never got a shot off.

Bowman scored 18 and reserve Darrel Owens had 11 for the Hoyas,
who were 16-point underdogs despite winning their previous four.

Pitt's Carl Krauser had 12 of his 15 points during a furious
first-half flurry, but the Panthers couldn't hold on after turning
the 19-point deficit into a 59-53 lead with five minutes remaining.

Georgetown, starting three freshmen, hit its first six 3-point
attempts against Pitt's rarely used 2-3 zone defense to seize the
28-9 lead. Dixon opened with the zone -- a defense he estimates the
Panthers used only 10 minutes all last season -- because of their
uncharacteristically soft defense of late.

"They hit some deep 3s -- they came out on fire," Dixon said.
"Say what you want about the second half, but you can't put
yourself in a 19-point hole. We rushed some things, forced some
things and were overly aggressive at times."

Pitt's last three opponents have shot 50 percent or better,
something only one of Pitt's 36 opponents did last season.
Georgetown made 25 of 50 shots, including 11-of-21 -- 52.4 percent --
from 3-point range.

In a game marked by shifting momentum and long scoring runs
keyed by 3-pointers, Pitt then scored the first eight points of the
second half to take its first lead, at 42-39, since it led 6-5.

Georgetown, ending a five-game losing streak against Pitt,
responded with a 9-0 run keyed by Cook's five points to retake the
lead at 53-49. But the Hoyas didn't score for nearly four minutes
as Graves and Krauser each hit 3-pointers as Pitt scored 10 in a
row to make it 59-53.

Troutman, who came in averaging 13.6 points, was held to five.
He has scored in single digits in each of Pitt's seven defeats over
the last two seasons.