Friday , Mar , 25 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

A seven in the Eight: West Virginia moves on

Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) – Kevin Pittsnogle finished with a game-
high 22 points and West Virginia reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA
Tournament with a 65-60 victory over Texas Tech in the regional semifinals of
the Albuquerque bracket.

Mike Gansey netted 11 points and Patrick Beilein added 10 for the seventh-
seeded Mountaineers (24-10), who will face fourth-seeded Louisville in
Saturday’s regional final. The Cardinals defeated top-seeded Washington on

West Virginia finds itself in the Elite Eight of the tournament for the
second time in school history and the first time since 1959 when it lost to
California in the national championship game.

“I know it means a lot because I’m from West Virginia,” said Pittsnogle. “It’s
just huge for the state and it’s huge for our program.

Ronald Ross posted 16 points for the sixth-seeded Red Raiders (22-11), who
were in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996. Devonne Giles added 12
points in the setback and Darryl Dora chipped in 11 points and eight boards in
the loss.

“From what I could see, both teams made it relatively difficult for the other,
to do what they wanted to do offensively,” Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight said.

The teams were tied at 53-53 after Ross’ layup with 8:24 remaining. However,
that’s when the Mountaineers used a 9-2 burst to grab the lead for good.
Pittsnogle started the run with a three-pointer and then added a set of free
throws to make it a 62-55 game with 3:54 left on the clock.

The Red Raiders wouldn’t go away, however, and they rattled off five straight
points to cut the deficit to 62-60. Jarrius Jackson converted a three-point
play with 3:21 left and a Giles’ layup capped the spurt at the 1:18 mark.

Texas Tech stole the ball on the ensuing inbounds pass and had numerous
chances to tie the game from in close. However, after a series of misses,
Beilein was finally able to haul in the rebound with 31 seconds left.
The Mountaineers inbounded the ball successfully this time, but the Red
Raiders waited until just 17 seconds remained to foul.

Pittsnogle made both free throws to push WVU’s edge to 64-60. Ross then missed
a three-pointer with eight seconds left and D’or Fischer hit 1-of-2 from the
line to seal the victory.

The score was locked at 32-32 at the half and West Virginia soon held a 40-36
edge after a pair of Pittsnogle free throws with 16:54 remaining. However, the
Red Raiders answered with an 11-4 surge to grab a 47-44 lead. Ross scored the
first six points of the run and Curtis Marshall’s three-point play gave Texas
Tech the three-point edge with 12:19 left.

West Virginia rallied to take a 51-49 advantage after a Beilein three-pointer
with 10:17 left. Ross’ dunk evened the score at 51-51 and the teams would
battle ferociously for the lead over the next few minutes.

The score was tight through most of the opening half, but West Virginia did
hold an eight-point edge at one point. The Mountaineers used a 12-2 stretch to
turn a 12-10 deficit into a 22-14 advantage. Beilein opened the spurt with a
trey at the 13:36 mark and Gansey hit a trio of three-pointers to close the
spurt and give West Virginia the eight-point edge with 12:06 left.

However, the Red Raiders would use a 12-2 burst of their own to grab a two-
point lead. Marshall scored the final five points of the run and his shot from
beyond the arc gave Texas Tech a 26-24 lead with 3:02 remaining. The
Mountaineers answered with the next six points to regain the lead, but the
score was tied at 32-32 heading into halftime.

Giles led the Red Raiders with 10 points at the break, while Gansey paced the
Mountaineers with nine.