Thursday , Jan , 29 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Pitt becomes first 20-win hoops team

=== Pitt becomes first 20-win hoops team ===

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Jaron Brown scored 18 points and Chris Taft
added 14, as No. 7 Pittsburgh escaped with a 68-58 victory over Boston College
in a Big East battle at the Petersen Events Center.

Carl Krauser contributed 12 for the Panthers (20-1, 6-1 Big East), who have
won 37 in a row at home and remained perfect (32-0) at the Petersen Center.

“We have a winning steak at home and we let the other teams know about it,”
said guard Julius Page. “A 20-win season doesn’t mean anything if you don’t
make it to the championship. I won’t be happy until I have the [championship]
trophy in my hand.”

Uka Agbai scored 17 points to lead the Eagles (13-6, 2-4), who have lost four
of their last six games.

Boston College, which trailed throughout the second half, held a one-point
lead with under three minutes remaining. Krauser, however, scored five
straight points to give the Panthers a 59-55 lead.

“In crunch time I like to think of myself as Isiah Thomas,” said Krauser. “He
hit the big shots when he needed to and I can use that in my game.”

Pittsburgh then put the game away from the free throw line. Brown and Taft
each made a pair from the stripe and a Brown jumper with 40 seconds left gave
the Panthers a 65-55 lead. The Panthers would score 14 of the final 18 points
to pull out the win.

The game was tied at halftime, but Pittsburgh scored 12 unanswered points to
begin the second half. Taft scored six during the run and a jumper by Chevon
Troutman gave the Panthers a 39-27 advantage with 16 1/2 minutes left.

The Eagles, trailing 46-34, used an eight-point burst to cut their deficit to
four. Agbai hit a jumper to begin the run and added a trey, as Boston College
pulled within 46-42 midway through the second half.

Down by five, 54-49, Boston College scored six straight points to take the
lead. A field goal by Jermaine Watson with just under four minutes to play
gave the Eagles a 55-54 edge. It would be the Eagles first and last lead of
the second half.

With the game tied at 11-11 in the early going, Craig Smith scored six points
in a 10-2 run. Watson capped the burst with a jumper that gave the Eagles a
21-13 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half.

The Panthers responded with an 8-2 spurt, including four points from Brown, to
pull within two, 23-21.

The game was tied, 27-27, at the break.

Smith finished with 12 first-half points to lead Boston College, while Brown’s
seven paced the Panthers.