Pitt coach Jeff Capel plucked Ryan Murphy from the junior college ranks last offseason because he needed a reliable shooter, and on Wednesday night, that decision paid off at the tail end of Pitt’s matchup with Boston College at the Petersen Events Center.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the game and his team coming off a series of mistakes that left the door open for a Boston College comeback, Murphy gathered a pass from Justin Champagnie, advanced toward the basket and drained a jumper from the top of the key to put Pitt up 74-72. Murphy left four seconds on the clock and the crowd on its feet. Two seconds later, after a steal by Champagnie, the game was secured.
“It takes guts to want to be in that moment and to take that shot,” Capel said during his postgame press conference. “And we’re incredibly grateful for him to have the guts to do that and obviously to step up and make it.”
Murphy was one of Pitt’s top performers on Wednesday, as he scored 11 points and went 4-for-5 from the field. That included a perfect 3-for-3 performance from beyond the arc. He was also instrumental in the team’s effort to storm back from a 14-point deficit late in the first half, as he set off a 9-0 run with a triple at the 2:32 mark. As a result, the team pulled within five points by halftime, with the score at 33-28, Boston College. Pitt would continue to ride that momentum in the final frame.
Thanks in part to Murphy’s clutch shot, Pitt improved to 13-6 on the season and 4-4 in conference on Wednesday. Next up for the team is a trip to Syracuse to meet Jim Boeheim and the Orange. The two teams will square off at the Carrier Dome at noon on Saturday.