Charles Smith disappeared for most of the game, but he showed up when it counted.
Smith made two free throws with eight seconds left Monday night to give No. 10 Pittsburgh a 63-61 victory over No. 9 Syracuse at Pittsburgh and lift the Panthers into sole possession of the Big East Conference lead.
"I'm glad it was me in there," said Smith, who was held to 12 points but had 12 rebounds. "I wanted to have the last shot in the ballgame. I wanted to win it."
With Smith neutralized, the Panthers (20-4, 9-2) turned to Jerome Lane, who had 16 of his 21 points in the second half and grabbed 14 rebounds.
"It was the biggest game we've played, and I love big games," Lane said. "I was so pumped up, I wanted the ball every time down the court in the second half."
Pitt won its seventh consecutive game despite shooting only 39% from the field.
"Pitt is a good as any team in the country right now," Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim said. "I thought our kids did a great job, even though we didn't win. Jerome Lane is a great rebounder, and Smith can kill you inside."
Lane made the first of two foul shots with 1:23 left to tie the score, 61-61, and Pitt got the ball back when Sherman Douglas of Syracuse (19-4, 8-3) missed a jumper with 58 seconds left.
Pitt worked the clock down to three seconds before freshman Rod Brookin missed a baseline jumper. Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Howard Triche.
Greg Monroe missed a three-point shot at the buzzer and Pitt had its second victory over Syracuse in the last two weeks.
"We got the shot we wanted at the end, but we just couldn't get it to fall," Boeheim said.
Rony Seikaly scored 19 points for Syracuse, and Douglas added 16.
Temple 73, Penn State 70--Mike Vreeswyk made two free throws with 13 seconds left in overtime as the sixth-ranked Owls survived a scare from the Nittany Lions in an Atlantic 10 Conference game at State College, Pa.
Vreeswyk and Nate Blackwell used the three-point field goal to erase a nine-point deficit with 1:23 left in regulation. Vreeswyk made two long jumpers and Blackwell one, Vreeswyk tying the score on a bomb with 18 seconds left.
Penn State's Wes Jones missed a shot with three seconds left to force the overtime.
Vreeswyk's free throws gave Temple (24-2, 13-0) a 72-68 lead and clinched the victory.
Blackwell scored 21 points for Temple and Vreeswyk added 18.
Tom Hovasse scored 29 points for Penn State (11-10, 5-8), which trailed by 11 points in the first half.
Nevada Las Vegas 73, Pacific 59--Jarvis Basnight scored 11 of his 13 points in a decisive surge in the second half that led the top-ranked Rebels to a Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. victory over the Tigers at Stockton.
The Runnin' Rebels (24-1, 12-0), the nation's leading offensive team at 96.6 points per game, led just 28-25 at halftime and fell behind, 37-34, when Pacific (9-12, 5-7) came out quickly in the second half.
Freddie Banks tied the game with a three-point shot, and Armon Gilliam hit a jumper and a free throw to give the Rebels a 40-37 lead with 15:20 left. UNLV held a 50-48 lead midway through the second half when Basnight broke loose.
Basnight scored 11 of UNLV's points in a 23-6 burst that gave the Rebels a 73-54 lead with 42 seconds to play.
Christian Gray scored 19 points for Pacific.
Auburn 84, Florida 70--Jeff Moore scored 20 points and Chris Morris and Mike Jones added 18 each as the Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak by upsetting the No. 19 Gators in a Southeastern Conference game at Gainesville, Fla.
Morris had 12 rebounds and Moore added 10 as the Tigers (13-8, 6-6) dominated the boards and knocked Florida out of a tie with Alabama for the SEC lead.
Vernon Maxwell scored 30 points to lead the Gators (18-6, 10-3), who saw an 18-game home winning streak end.
Georgetown 78, Boston College 56--Reggie Williams scored 25 points and Perry McDonald added 18 to lead the No. 13 Hoyas past the Eagles in a Big East game at Landover, Md.
Williams scored 11 of the Hoyas' first 15 points as Georgetown (17-4, 7-4) built a 36-21 lead and coasted to victory.
Dana Barros scored 15 points for Boston College (9-13, 2-10).
Navy 81, George Mason 64--David Robinson had 33 points and 15 rebounds as the Midshipmen beat the Patriots in a Colonial Athletic Assn. game at Annapolis, Md.
Anthony Davis made four three-pointers and scored 18 points for George Mason (13-10, 6-5). Cliff Rees added 15 points for Navy (18-5, 10-1).
Army 74, Manhattan 58--Kevin Houston, the nation's leading scorer, scored 33 points and the Cadets routed the Jaspers in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game at West Point, N.Y.
Houston made three three-point shots in the opening minutes as Army (9-11, 5-5) rolled to a 37-16 lead.
Pete Runge scored 21 points for Manhattan (6-17, 2-9).
Ohio State 90, Michigan State 72--Dennis Hopson scored 34 points, and the Buckeyes overpowered the Spartans in a Big Ten game at Columbus, Ohio.
Hopson, the nation's second-leading scorer, also had six rebounds and six assists as the Buckeyes (15-8, 6-5) kept alive their chances for an NCAA tournament berth.
Darryl Johnson scored 24 points for Michigan State (8-13, 3-8), and Vernon Carr added 20. Jay Burson added 18 points for Ohio State.