Pittsburgh, PA (Betting Express) - Talib Zanna scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench, as Pittsburgh knotted the best-of-three College Basketball Invitational championship series with a 57-53 victory over Washington State.
Lamar Patterson added 12 points and Nasir Robinson chipped in with 10 points, and the Panthers (21-17) came out victories despite a 2-of-11 effort from star guard Travon Woodall.
"We had a good first half and then got stagnant in the second half," said Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon. "I don't think we ran the sets that we needed to but we'll get better at it and we've got one more day to figure it out."
Reggie Moore led Washington State (19-17) with 18 points, while DaVonte Lacy donated nine points and seven boards in defeat. The Cougars made just 4-of-13 threes in another close contest. The series' two games have been decided by five total points.
A winner-takes-all Game 3 will be held Friday night at the Peterson Events Center.
The Panthers used a 10-0 clip to take a 19-9 lead thanks to five from Zanna, including a three about 7 1/2 minutes in. The margin grew to as many as 11 on Robinson's three-pointer in the final minute, and Pitt took a 29-20 lead into the locker room.
Washington State drew within 42-37 on Abe Lodwick's three with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining, and the deficit dwindled even further to 42-40 on Moore's free throw about a minute and a half later.
The Cougars finally tied the score at 49-49 on Moore's two free throws with 1:42 on the clock, but he missed a jumper after Patterson's bucket had given the Panthers the lead. Zanna then buried two free throws with 26 ticks on the clock, and another Moore miss sealed the deal.
"I was just trying to be in attack mode whenever I got the ball and I just saw a couple of lanes open up so I decided to attack," said Moore about his performance.
Pittsburgh has won two-of-three lifetime meetings...The Cougars again played without the Pac-12's leading scorer, Brock Motum, who is missing time with a right ankle injury...The Panthers made just 6-of-20 threes in the win.