No. 4 Pittsburgh Beats West Virginia
Jan. 25, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -Sam Young scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half to lead No. 4 Pittsburgh to a 79-67 win over West Virginia on Sunday.
Pittsburgh (18-1, 6-1 Big East) earned its second double-digit win since falling at Louisville a week ago and surrendering its No. 1 ranking.
Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair had his 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. LeVance Fields had 13 points and Jermaine Dixon scored 11.
Da'Sean Butler led West Virginia (14-5, 3-3) with 21 points. Alex Ruoff added 16 points and Darryl Bryant scored 12.
West Virginia kept pace with the beefier Panthers for the game's' first 25 minutes. Pittsburgh then used its size and inside emphasis to take over.
While the Mountaineers tried to keep pace with longer shots, the Panthers went hard to the basket and started piling up free throws.
Young, who had committed his third foul seconds into the second half, went to the bench for the next four minutes, then took over upon returning. He scored 12 points during a decisive 18-5 run, capping it with a layup with 8:06 remaining that gave Pittsburgh a 68-53 lead.
West Virginia got no closer than 11 points the rest of the game.
West Virginia, which is playing eight ranked league opponents over a monthlong stretch, couldn't continue the momentum of a 17-point win at Georgetown on Thursday.
The key to that game was the Hoyas' 19 turnovers and 33 percent shooting in the second half. Pittsburgh mostly stayed out of trouble with only nine turnovers and shot 54 percent (30-of-56) for the game. The Panthers' inside game outscored West Virginia's 38-24.
The Big East's top two defensive teams were even in nearly every statistical category in the first half and neither team led by more than four points. Pittsburgh shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the floor in the first half but led just 39-37 at halftime.
Pittsburgh continues its stretch of playing five straight ranked opponents when it hosts No. 20 Villanova on Wednesday and travels to No. 19 Notre Dame next Saturday.