BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- St. Louis University battled foul troubles all game and was outscored by 13 points at the free-throw line Wednesday while suffering its first loss to Pittsburgh 75-73 at Barclays Center.
The Billikens had to battle through a difficult first half, including the absence of leading scorer Tramaine Isabell Jr., who was benched for disciplinary reasons.
They rallied to lead in the second half but the Panthers scored repeatedly on layups and dunks to hold off SLU.
"It's crazy I'm saying this about our team, but I think they out-physicaled us," guard Jordan Goodwin said. "They really punked us."
SLU trailed by five after a first half that saw Isabell not play, most of the starting lineup get into foul trouble, a player participate in his first college game and the Billikens resort to using a zone defense.
The last time SLU started a season with four wins, the Billikens also lost their fifth game at Barclays Center. That was in the 2015-16 season and the loss was to Louisville.
Goodwin showed flashes of the form he had at midseason a year ago, finishing with 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting and eight rebounds. And Hasahn French had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
However, his air ball on the front end of a one-and-one with 4.9 seconds left and SLU trailing by two was the Billikens' last chance. As soon as French received the ball, Pitt was quick to foul him. Asked if he considered not having French on the floor for the final possession, Ford said, "It definitely was a thought."
"We didn't really get into what we wanted to," he said of the offensive plan for that play. "We discussed it, but he'll make them. I trust him and he does so many good things for us."