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Men's Basketball Needs Two OT's to Advance in BIG EAST Tournament
March 4, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) - Howard Brown nailed a 3-point shot as time ran out in the second overtime Wednesday night, lifting Villanova to a 96-93 victory over Pittsburgh in the Big East tournament.

The victory earned the Wildcats (12-16) a quarterfinal matchup with Syracuse on Thursday night.

Vontego Cummings scored 37 points for Pittsburgh (11-16) including a 3-pointer with just over 1 second left in regulation to force the first OT. Then John Celestand's 3-pointer at the end of that 5-minute extra period tied it for Villanova and forced the second extra period.

It was the first double overtime game in Big East tournament history.

Pittsburgh trailed by 12 points at halftime, 48-36, but kept chipping away at Villanova's lead, mostly on the work of Cummings, who had nine points in a 20-9 run that cut Villanova's lead to one at 57-56.

After Villanova responded with an 8-0 run, Pitt came back again, finally catching the Wildcats at 75-75 on a 3-pointer by Ricardo Greer, who finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

As time ran down, Villanova had nudged in front at 80-77 but Cummings tied it again at 80 with one of his five 3-pointers as time was running out.

Pitt's Jarrett Lockhart hit a 3 at the start of the overtime for his first points of the second half and the Panthers hung onto the lead until Celestand's 3 tied it again at 88, forcing the second OT.

Again, Pittsburgh pushed in front as Lockhart hit a foul shot and Cummings added a basket and two free throws. But Zeffy Penn's second basket of the OT tied it at 93 and after Cummings missed a shot, Villanova had one more chance and Brown nailed it.

Celestand led Villanova with 25 points while Brown had 24 and Brian Lynch 15. Rafal Bigus scored 10 and had 18 rebounds.

The teams combined for 25 2-pointers, 13 by Villanova.