Pittsburgh guard Justice Kithcart (5) goes up for a shot against Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey yells instructions to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson (35) blocks a shot by Pittsburgh forward Ryan Luther (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Pittsburgh guard Cameron Johnson (23) and Notre Dame guard Matt Farrell (5) battle for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
December 31, 2016 4:55 PM
Vasturia's 3 lifts No. 24 Notre Dame by Pitt in OT
WILL GRAVES | Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — Steve Vasturia knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to rally No. 24 Notre Dame past Pittsburgh 78-77 on Saturday.
The Panthers took a 77-75 lead on a runner by Jamel Artis with 41 seconds to play. Vasturia missed a shot but grabbed his own rebound with 21 seconds left. The Irish reset their offense and Vasturia ended up with the ball in the corner. He faked a shot, took a step to his right and made the 3-pointer right in front of the Notre Dame bench to quiet a raucous Petersen Events Center.
Bonzie Colson led the Irish (12-2, 1-0) with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Vasturia shook off foul trouble to finish with 15 while Matt Farrell added 15 for Notre Dame in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Artis and Michael Young finished with 25 points each for Pitt (11-3, 0-1), which appeared in control after a layup by Sheldon Jeter gave the Panthers a 75-70 lead early in overtime. Colson hit a layup before Vasturia hit a 3-pointer to tie it to set up a taut final minute.
The Irish trailed by as many as 11 early but used an 11-0 run midway through the second half to take a 60-52 lead. The Panthers used a 15-2 surge of their own to go back in front, including a 3-pointer by Young after he leaped over the scorer's table to track down a loose ball before scrambling to his feet and spotting up for his fourth 3 of the game.
Notre Dame scrambled to tie it late. Martinas Geben hit a layup, VJ Beachem emerged from a scrum underneath the hoop for a putback and Vasturia knocked down two free throws with 25 seconds left. Young's 3-pointer at the buzzer hit off the front of the rim in another of a series of thrillers between the former Big East rivals turned ACC foes.
The Irish improved to 4-6 all-time at the Pete. Nine of the 10 meetings have been decided by nine points or less.
Notre Dame: The Irish don't get rattled. Pitt had momentum several times in the second half but the Irish got a spark from reserve freshman point guard TJ Gibbs, who finished with seven points on the same court older brother Ashton called home while playing for the Panthers earlier this decade.
Pitt: The Panthers have one of the toughest schedules in the ACC, including two meetings each with Virginia and North Carolina. At home against an upper middle class ACC team that plays a similar style, the Irish appeared gettable. Instead they head into a difficult stretch that starts on Tuesday at home against the Cavaliers hoping to avoid an 0-2 start.
Notre Dame: Welcomes No. 6 Louisville on Tuesday. The Irish are 5-4 against the Cardinals since 2010-11.
Pitt: Hosts No. 12 Virginia on Tuesday. The Panthers are 0-4 against Cavaliers since joining ACC in 2013.