PULLMAN — Washington State’s D.J. Shelton blocked a last-second shot by Tray Woodall and the Cougars hung on to beat Pittsburgh 67-66 Monday night in Game 1 of the best-of-three CBI Finals.
Abe Lodwick led Washington State (19-16) with 16 points.
Woodall, who led Pitt (20-17) with 16 points, took an inbounds pass with 3.5 seconds left and ran the length of the floor before attempting an out-of-control layup attempt that Shelton swatted out of bounds. Pitt inbounded again and Lamar Patterson’s long jumper missed as time expired.
Washington State played without leading scorer Brock Motum, who hurt his right ankle in the semifinal victory over Oregon State last week.
The second game of the series is Wednesday at Pittsburgh. If needed, the third game is Friday in Pittsburgh.
Trailing by three at halftime, Washington State opened the second half with a 10-4 run for a 45-42 lead with 16:07 left. Pitt tied the score a couple of times, but Washington State went on a 9-0 run to build a 60-48 lead with 8 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Pitt was held without a field goal for more than seven minutes, until Ashton Gibbs’ 3-pointer cut WSU’s lead to 60-51 with 7:03 left.
Washington State went cold and a 3-pointer by Woodall and dunk by Patterson brought Pittsburgh within 62-59 with 2:48 left.
Lodwick replied with a 3-pointer to put WSU up 65-59. J.J. Moore of Pitt was fouled trying a 3-pointer and made all three foul shots to cut WSU’s lead to 65-62 with 1:46 left.
Reggie Moore sank a long jumper as the shot clock expired to give the Cougars to a 67-62 lead.
Talib Zanna of Pitt completed a 3-point play to bring the Panthers within 67-65 with 1:01 left.
Lodwick missed a long jumper and Pitt got the ball back with 18 seconds left and called time out.
Patterson missed a shot and Zanna was fouled after he rebounded with 4.8 seconds left. He made the first free throw, but the second hit the front of the rim and Lodwick was fouled on the rebound with 4 seconds left.
Lodwick missed the front end of the one-and-one and Pitt rebounded with 3.5 seconds left and called time out, setting the stage for Woodall’s dash.
In the first half, Lodwick scored 10 points in a 3-minute span as Washington State built an early 17-12 lead. Pitt responded with a quick 13-0 run, taking a 25-17 lead on J.J. Moore’s 3-pointer. Washington State clawed back to within 31-29 on Moore’s free throws.
Pittsburgh led 38-35 at halftime, even though Washington State made 63 percent of its shots, including 5-of-7 3-pointers.. The Panthers shot 55 percent, making 7-of-13 from 3-point range.
Pitt finished 13th in the Big East while Washington State was 8th in the Pacific-12 this season. Oregon won the tournament last year.