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Marquette, which easily beat the Panthers last season before losing to them in the Big East tournament, scored the first seven points of the second half -- part of the 21-5 run that lasted less than 5 minutes.
Matthews started the comeback with consecutive baskets and scored nine points during a run that was ended by McNeal's 3-pointer.
The surge briefly quieted a loud, sign-waving sellout crowd that was revved up by the surprise pregame announcement that Pitt assistant coach Brandin Knight's No. 20 jersey would become one of only four retired by the school. The point guard led Pitt's resurgence from 1999-2003, twice leading the Panthers to Big East regular season titles.
The Panthers still could win this title, but only if they beat UConn and No. 6 Louisville loses Saturday to West Virginia.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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