PITTSBURGH (AP) Michael Oguine scored a career-high 29 points and Montana ended a 14-game losing streak to Power Five conference schools with an 83-78 overtime victory over Pittsburgh on Monday night.
Ahmaad Rorie added 18 points for the Grizzlies (2-0). Bobby Moorehead chipped in 14 points for Montana, which forced the Panthers into 19 turnovers and never trailed in the extra period.
Shamiel Stevenson led Pitt (0-2) with 19 points. Ryan Luther finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds but missed a corner jumper with 27 seconds to play that could have given the Panthers the lead.
Rorie made two free throws to put Montana up 81-78. Pitt’s Parker Stewart missed a 3-pointer and when Moorehead added a free throw, the Grizzlies had their first win over a major conference school in head coach Travis DeCuire’s four seasons.
This wasn’t a last-second stunner. Montana led for most of regulation. The smaller Grizzlies held their own in the paint, outrebounding the Panthers 39-38 and scoring 42 points in the lane, compared to 40 for Pitt.
The Panthers are trying to find their way with a completely retooled roster that features 11 new players. The growing pains coach Kevin Stallings anticipated may be even more difficult than he imagined.
Pitt lost its first season opener in two decades when it fell at Navy on Friday, a game that included a 10-minute stretch in the second half where the Panthers missed 13 straight shots. Three days later in front of the smallest regular season crowd in the history of the Petersen Events Center (3,102), the problem this time wasn’t bad shooting but bad decisions.
Pitt struggled at times against Montana’s trap and had as many turnovers in the first half (11) as made field goals as the Grizzlies took a 37-35 lead and didn’t go away.
Montana: Oguine and Rorie could be a problem for opposing backcourts in the Big Sky Conference.
Pitt: There will be few easy nights for the Panthers, even when playing the weaker portion of its non-conference schedule.
Montana: Grizzlies stay in Pennsylvania and head north to play Penn State on Wednesday.
Pitt: hosts UC-Santa Barbara on Wednesday.