Whether Wagner fans have been naughty or nice this year, they received an early Christmas gift.
In case ESPU wasn’t on in the background of the holiday party you were at last night, Dan Hurley’s Seahawks stormed into the Petersen Events Center and came away with a 59-54 victory over No. 13 Pittsburgh.
The win was the first-ever by a NEC team over Pitt and it ended Wagner’s 13-game losing streak against Big East members.
It’s the kind of victory that will open some eyes on the NCAA Committee come Selection Sunday. OF course, the Seahawks, have a long way to go before thinking about March. First, they head out west for the 45th annual Cable Car Classic, which begins on Dec. 29. There, they will face Air Force and either Santa Clara or Eastern Michigan.
Then, of course, there are 16 more Northeast Conference games to follow with the league schedule heating up in the New Year.
But for now, the Seahawks will have some time to enjoy what was the program’s biggest win in nearly a decade.
Overtime! has included a number of links below for you to enjoy the victory as well, including Wagner trending near the top of Twitter into the wee hours last night!
Rivers shines as Wagner College stuns 15th-ranked Pittsburgh – Staten Island Advance (AP)
Wagner stuns Pitt at the Pete – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Jerry DiPaola)
Pitt Basketball: NEC’s Wagner stuns Panthers – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BOX SCORE: Wagner 59, #13 Pittsburgh 54
You know that we love our Twitter over here at Overtime! just as much as we love canolis and a nice cup of espresso #CantWaitForChristmasDessert …so on that note, here’s what the Twitter World had to say about the game…
@NECcommish – HUGE win for @WagnerAthletics over #13 ranked Pitt, what a great way for @NECsports to start the holiday season! Go Seahawks!! #NEC
@RealJayWilliams – Dan Hurley is THE up & coming coach in college basketball. #Wagner is playing like a team that believes they deserve to win against #Pitt.
@dhurley15 – Awesome nite for our players,college n program. Scout on point by @BobbyHurley11 n great work by coaches. Our kids deserved it-their nite!
@ICGaels – Congrats to @dhurley15 and @WagnerAthletics with their win at #Pitt!
@Jthom25 – Big win for Wagner and our team! A lot of hardwork and toughness went into tonights win.. I love my team! #allinalways #Wagner
@BruceBeck4NY – Seahawks Shocker! Congrats 2 @WagnerAthletics (8-3) who beat #15 Pitt! @dhurley15 with help from @BobbyHurley11 doing awesome job!
@NECralph – congrats to @wagnerathletics mbb & @dhurley15 for knockin off pitt #NECproud #UpsetCity
@jasonsullivan5 – Congrats to @WagnerAthletics for a great win tonight at Pitt. Great job! @NECsports #collegehoops
@LarsLondot – Great to wake up this morning and see Wagner on the front page of espn.com!!!@WagnerAthletics @WagnerHoops @WagnerCollege @dhurley15
@NECralph – @wagnerathletics mbb on the cusp #makethosefreethrows #necmbb
@ESPNU – UPSET ALERT: #Wagner leading over #PITT 53-48 with 1:16 left in the game. #ESPNU
@__Kam – I bet your school’s not trending on Twitter …. #Wagner
The upset of Pitt may not have been possible had Latif Rivers not caught fire after the break. Rivers, an NEC all-rookie selection last year, was scoreless for the first 20 minutes against the Panthers before exploding for 18 second-half points. Even more impressive than the second-half explosion had to be the sophomore’s poise under pressure when he converted all six of his free throws in the game’s final minute.
Pitt doesn’t lose non-conference games at home, or at least not very often. Illustrating just home rare the home loss was is the factoid that the Panthers hold a 91-3 all-time record at the Petersen Events Center against non-conference opponents since the facility’s opening. Just another reason for Wagner fans to say What a Win!