PITTSBURGH, Pa.—Jevon Carter had 19 points, six rebounds and nine assists as No. 18 West Virginia held off a second-half rally from Pitt to win the Backyard Brawl 69-60 on Saturday night.
Daxter Miles Jr. tallied 15 points for the Mountaineers (9-1). Lamont West had 13 and Beetle Bolden added 10.
Ryan Luther led the Panthers (5-5) with 13 points. Shamiel Stevenson and Marcus Carr chipped in 12.
WVU led by as many as 20 but Pitt chipped away at the Mountaineers’ lead to pull within two with 5:30 remaining in the game.
“I told our guys in practice for two days, Bob Huggins said. “Kevin (Stallings) can coach. I have great respect for him and what he has done over the years. When he was at Vanderbilt, we had him down in Puerto Rico and they came back. He runs good stuff. His guys play hard. They kicked our butt on the glass. I wasn’t surprised. I told our guys for two days that that’s what I was afraid was going to happen.”
In the second half, three of WVU’s starters found themselves in foul trouble, fueling a furious Panthers’ rally
With Carter and Miles on the bench, Pitt began to solve the Mountaineers’ half court defense.
Stevenson drained a 3-pointer with 9:50 remaining to pull the Panthers within 56-50, forcing WVU to call timeout.
Then Stevenson completed a three-point play to cut Pitt’s deficit to three with 9:12 to go.
Beetle Bolden 3 pushed the Mountaineers lead out to 61-53 with 6:52 left. However, Carr sank a 3-pointer and made a free throw to pull Pitt within 61-59 with 5:31 left.
But WVU settled in and finished the Panthers off.
“I think we got comfortable,” Miles said. “We weren’t guarding.”
Pitt had a 38-32 advantage on the boards.
The Mountaineers forced 14 turnovers and had eight steals.
WVU shot 46 percent from the field, made 10-of-25 from beyond the arc and shot 56 percent from the free throw line.
The Panthers shot 34 percent from the floor, shot 24 from 3-point range and made 22-of-31 from the line.
The Mountaineers host Wheeling Jesuit University on Saturday in an exhibition game.