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With Pitt trailing by one point and :27 seconds remaining in the game, the Panthers put the ball in the hands of their best player. Jamarius Burton drove the lane and drew a foul and calmly buried two free throws. North Carolina’s last second shot did not get off in time and Pitt escaped with a 65-64 win over the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, completing the season sweep over the preseason ACC favorite.

It marked the third straight meeting Pitt has knocked off North Carolina on its home court. The Panthers improved to 16-7 on the year and 9-3 in the ACC, just one game back in the loss column from first place Clemson. The win secures Pitt will have a winning record in the regular season for the first time since 2016, the last year this program advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Pitt entered Wednesday’s game as an 8.5-point underdog, but the Panthers had already knocked off North Carolina earlier in the season, and did not seem intimidated by the environment at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Nelly Cummings led the Panthers in scoring with 21 points, while Burton was just behind him with 19 points. For the game, Pitt shot 45% from the floor, and also connected on seven three-pointers.

Pitt had to battle back in this one as they had a six minute scoreless drought in the early stages of the second half. North Carolina built a 46-40 lead, but Jeff Capel’s team showed some fight. Cummings stepped up and sparked a 15-2 run. The senior guard connected on three consecutive three-pointers, and assisted on a Federiko Federiko bucket.

The Panthers gained a 55-48 advantage with 9:12 remaining, but the Tar Heels buckled down and clawed back into it themselves. A 9-2 Tar Heel run gave them the lead late, but Pitt withstood that charge to pull out a sixth road victory this season.

Neither team made a shot in the final 3:28 of the game, but Burton’s clutch free throws at the end of the contest ultimately proved to be the difference.

North Carolina was paced by Caleb Love, who finished with a game-high 22 points. Armando Bacot had his struggles shooting the ball (3-for-10) but finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Tar Heels held a 43-34 rebounding edge for the game, but only a 20-18 advantage in the second half.

Wednesday’s contest proved to be a physical game and also a chippy one. The two teams combined for 38 fouls for the game. Cummings ultimately fouled out, and four other players finished with four fouls. There was a double technical on Cummings and UNC guard RJ Davis in the second half, and multiple times the teams had to be separated by the officials.

After being the catalyst for Pitt’s last two wins, Blake Hinson was held to just two points. Pitt picked up the slack with 10 points and 7 rebounds from Nike Sibande coming off the bench. Federiko played excellent defense on Bacot and provided 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

Pitt has won three games in a row, all by three points or less. The Panthers are now 6-2 on the year in one-possession games. Pitt is off this weekend, and will return to action next Tuesday as they welcome Louisville to the Petersen Events Center for a 7:00 p.m tip.