|Fields finally falls short in Pitt's 78-76 loss|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 March 2009 15:58|
Half a second was too little even for the Panthers' late-game star to keep their season alive.
The point guard's desperation shot from three-quarters court banked off the backboard as the buzzer sounded, and Villanova held on for a 78-76 win Saturday night and a berth in the Final Four.
The third-seeded Wildcats had gone ahead on Scottie Reynolds basket, and the clock kept running down to 0:00. But the officials put a half-second back and Sam Young inbounded to Fields, who launched the ball that seemed to have a chance to go in.
He took a few steps backward as it soared toward the end of his season and, when it missed, he raised his hands to his forehead then clapped them in frustration.
his own steal.
In his previous game, an 84-76 win over Oklahoma State, the game was tied at 74 before Fields made a layup and a 3-pointer. The Panthers never trailed after that.
Young scored 28 points and DeJuan Blair had 20 for Pitt on Saturday night as Fields was content to pass the ball to the team's top scorers most of the game.
But in the final minute, Fields made two big free throws with 5.5 seconds left to tie it at 76. Not even a timeout called by the Wildcats between those shots could unnerve the confident senior.
Earlier, Fields hit a 3-pointer to make it 30-all, the first time Pitt didn't trail since the early going, and he waved with his left hand to fire up the fans.
Fields finished with 10 points and six assists. But the director of Pitt's offense was eliminated from the tournament three wins short of his goal.
Pitt's only other appearance in the Final Four came in 1941 when just eight teams played in the tournament. It beat North Carolina then lost to Wisconsin.
After the Panthers beat Xavier, Blair said with a laugh that the key to their success was to ``give Levance the ball.''
On Saturday, the Panthers did.
They won't have another chance.