Boston College head coach Jim Christian, right, instructs his team during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Pittsburgh in Boston, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola
January 06, 2015

BOSTON (AP) The Pittsburgh Panthers should send a message to the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference: Don't let us get to overtime.

Josh Newkirk had a pair of clutch baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes of OT and finished with 15 points, lifting Pittsburgh to a 61-60 comeback win over Boston College on Tuesday night.

The Panthers are 6-0 in overtime games since becoming members of the ACC last season, winning five against member schools. They've won their last seven since a 74-67 setback against Marquette at home on Jan. 12, 2013.

''We were 4-0 last year. We win close games,'' Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. ''I told them this is where we wanted it. We found a way. You need to do that when you don't play well. I told them at the start of overtime: `We're six in a row in overtime games.'''

Michael Young added 15 points and Sheldon Jeter 11 with eight rebounds for the Panthers (11-4, 1-1 ACC).

Pitt overcame deficits in regulation and OT.

''It was great,'' Newkirk said. ''We just told ourselves: `Keep pushing, keep fighting. This game ain't over. Keep pushing.' That's what we did.''

Olivier Hanlan led Boston College (7-6, 0-2) with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Aaron Brown added 11 points.

''It's disappointing because you just don't get those games back,'' BC coach Jim Christian said. ''You have to take advantage of your opportunities.''

Neither team shot very well in a contest dominated by tough, scrappy defense. Pittsburgh was 38.3 percent from the field and Boston College 40.4.

Patrick Heckmann's 3-pointer from the right wing 2:15 into overtime gave Boston College a 60-55 lead.

But, like regulation, the Eagles had trouble putting the Panthers away.

This time, it cost them.

The Panthers scored the next six points, taking a lead on Newkirk's driving basket with 5.9 seconds left.

Heckmann then missed on a drive and the ball hit the floor as the horn sounded. But, after the officials reviewed the replay, they put 0.3 seconds on the clock.

BC's attempted alley-oop failed as the horn sounded.

After Boston College had a nine-point lead sliced to one midway into the second half, Hanlan nailed a pair of 3-pointers and scored a basket on drive into the lane during a 18-9 run that gave the Eagles a 51-41 edge with 3 1/2 minutes to play.

The Panthers then went on a 10-0 run, scoring six points in the final 59 seconds of regulation. They tied it when Newkirk stole Brown's pass near midcourt and went in for a layup with 31.2 seconds to play.

Heckmann missed a baseline drive before Dennis Clifford failed on an easy put-back just before the horn sounded, sending the game to OT.

The teams traded runs late in the tightly defended first half before BC took a 27-22 edge into intermission.

Pittsburgh then went nearly nine minutes without a point bridging the end of the first half into the second before James Robinson's jumper ended the drought.

After that, the Panthers went on a 10-2 run, cutting it to 33-32 on Jeter's free throw with 11 1/2 minutes to play.

For lengthy stretches of the game, the Eagles had trouble getting inside Pitt's 2-3 zone and the Panthers had the shot clock run low a handful of times against BC's tough man-to-man defense.

The Panthers were coming off an 18-point loss at North Carolina State last Saturday when they shot a season-low 32.7 percent. BC dropped its ACC opener at No. 2 Duke by 23 points.



Pittsburgh: The first half wasn't much better than the Panthers' last game when they scored just 20 points in the loss at N.C. State. ... Pitt improved to 1-3 on the road.

Boston College: The Eagles announced earlier in the week that reserve guard Lonnie Jackson would be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a lower leg injury. ... BC dropped to 6-2 at home.


Newkirk saw he had 7-footer Clifford guarding him and drove at him. ''I saw I had the big guy on me and he couldn't stay with me,'' he said.


The Panthers scored 22 points of second-chance shots.


Pittsburgh: Hosts Clemson on Saturday.

Boston College: At Miami on Saturday.

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