PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- With a chance to post one of the biggest wins in school history, Rutgers was done in both locally and abroad.
New Jersey native Brandin Knight scored 17 points and Donatas Zavackas of Lithuania had eight in the final six minutes as No. 5 Pittsburgh edged Rutgers, 70-63, in a Big East Conference matchup.
Rutgers never has beaten a top-five team but had Pittsburgh (12-1, 2-0 Big East West) on the ropes throughout the second half. The game was tied, 56-56, with 3 1/2 minutes to go when Knight buried a 3-pointer that gave the Panthers the lead for good.
After Jerome Coleman sank a jumper for Rutgers (8-5, 0-1 West), Zavackas drained a 3-pointer with 2:30 minutes left for a 62-58 lead. Knight hit a free throw 29 seconds later and Jaron Brown added a pair from the line with 1:47 remaining for a 65-58 cushion.
Ricky Shields sank a 3-pointer to get Rutgers within four, and the Scarlet Knights forced an immediate turnover. But Shields missed a shot from the arc and Julius Page sealed the victory with two free throws.
Rutgers beat four ranked teams at home last season but has not knocked off a top-10 team anywhere since February 1, 1982.
Pittsburgh has won four straight from Rutgers and three in a row overall since suffering its lone loss of the season.
Coleman scored 20 points for Rutgers, which has split its last six games.
Rutgers scored 10 of the game's first 12 points and held Pittsburgh to just one basket through the opening six minutes.
The Panthers used a 12-4 run to knot the contest with 7:51 left in the opening half and neither team led by more than four the rest of the first half.
The game was tied, 25-25, at the half as neither team shot well. Pittsburgh, which shot 39 percent (9-of-23), did somewhat offset 14 turnovers by holding an 18-10 rebounding edge.
Rutgers shot 40 percent (8-of-20) from the field but made 4-of-9 3-point attempts.
Pittsburgh opened the second half on an 8-2 run as Page had 3-pointers less than a minute apart. But Rutgers weathered the storm and took a 48-47 lead on a layup by Kareem Wright with 7:52 left.
Wright had all of his season-high 13 points in the second half.
Pittsburgh shot 64 percent (14-of-22) in the second half, including 7-of-8 from 3-point range. Rutgers made just 14-of-33 shots over the final 20 minutes and missed eight of its 10 3-point attempts.