Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Gansey leads Mountaineers past South Florida

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) – Mike Gansey poured in 18 points on 8-of-11
shooting to lead 24th-ranked West Virginia to a 57-53 win over South Florida
at the Sun Dome.

Kevin Pittsnogle added 16 points for the Mountaineers (9-3, 1-0 Big East), who
won their seventh consecutive game. Johannes Herber and Patrick
Beilein pitched in with eight points each for West Virginia.

Solomon Jones dominated for the Bulls (6-8, 0-1), who lost their third
consecutive game, with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Melvin Buckley added 16
points for South Florida while McHugh Mattis had 11.

The Bulls played the highly regarded Mountaineers very tough in their
first ever Big East game. After Mattis snuck along the baseline for a two-
handed slam, South Florida climbed to within three at 43-40 with under eight
minutes remaining.

The Bulls continued to hang around but West Virginia finally got hot from the
floor. Back-to-back long distance bombs by Pittsnogle and Gansey along with a
pair of buckets by Herber highlighted a 12-6 burst that gave the Mountaineers
a 55-46 edge with just over four minutes left in the game.

South Florida would not fold however. A Buckley trey capped a 7-0 spurt to
bring the Bulls within two, 55-53, with just under two minutes left.

J.D. Collins then missed two free throws to give the Bulls an opportunity to
tie. The West Virginia defense stiffened forcing Jones to miss a wild three
from the right wing.

Pittsnogle was then fouled with 20.2 ticks left. The reigning Big East player
of the week calmly stuck both free throws to give West Virginia a 57-53 lead.

A pull-up three by James Holmes fell harmlessly off the rim and the
Mountaineers escaped with the victory.

West Virginia took a slim 25-22 advantage into intermission. Gansey paced the
Mountaineers with nine while Jones had 12 for the Bulls.

Game Notes

Beilein’s two three-pointers give him 201 for his career, which is a new
West Virginia record…This was just the second time WVU and South Florida
have met. The Bulls won the first matchup in 1978…West Virginia shot 41.1
percent from the floor while South Florida shot 40.4 percent.