Saturday , Jan , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Gray powers Pitt past Marquette

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Aaron Gray scored 13 points and pulled down
20 rebounds, as 12th-ranked Pittsburgh rallied for a 77-71 victory over
Marquette at the Petersen Events Center.

Antonio Graves scored 19 points and Carl Krauser added 16 with six assists for
the Panthers (17-1, 6-1 Big East), who trailed by as many as 12 in the first
half and came back from a seven-point halftime deficit.

Pittsburgh has won two straight since its lone setback of the season last week
against St. John’s and extended its home winning streak to 13.

Dominic James scored 16 to lead Marquette (15-6, 5-3), which had a three-game
winning streak stopped, but the freshman point guard suffered a shoulder
injury in the second half that changed the momentum.

The Golden Eagles were ahead 47-44 with 13:16 remaining when James left the
floor. The Panthers took advantage by scoring the next eight points.

Krauser got it started with a three-pointer, then came up with a steal and a
layup five seconds later to give Pittsburgh its first lead of the game. A
three-pointer by Graves with 10:47 left pushed the Panther edge to 52-47.

Marquette, though, regrouped and answered with a 9-2 run, going back in front
at 56-54 on a layup by Jerel McNeal with just under eight minutes to play.

James returned soon after and it remained tight for a few minutes before
Pittsburgh pulled away.

Marquette held a 58-56 edge with just over six minutes remaining, but an
offensive rebound and a layup by Gray started a run of 10 straight Panther
points.

Graves followed with a three-pointer and Krauser added a three-point play
before Graves hit two from the stripe for a 66-58 lead with 4:12 to play.

Ronald Ramon drilled a shot from beyond the arc with 1:34 left to extend the
Pittsburgh lead to 10 at 71-61 and the Eagles were unable to recover.

Ramon finished with 13 points for the Panthers, who outrebounded Marquette
45-30.

Ryan Amoroso scored 14 points for the Eagles and Jerel McNeal added 10. Steve
Novak, the club’s leading scorer, finished with just eight — more than eight
below his season average.

Marquette scored the first eight points until Krauser nailed a three-pointer 4
1/2 minutes into the game for Pittsburgh’s first basket. The Golden Eagles
continued to expand their lead and opened a 19-7 advantage on a layup by James
with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half.

The Panthers responded with an 11-2 run and pulled within 21-18 on a bucket by
Graves, but Dan Fitzgerald answered with a three-pointer to keep Marquette in
front.

A three-pointer by Ramon again drew Pittsburgh within three at 28-25 with 6:13
to play in the half, but the Eagles again pulled away with a 9-2 run to build
a 10-point margin and carried a 40-33 advantage into the break.

Amoroso led Marquette with 10 points off the bench in the first half. The
Eagles shot 53 percent from the field and hit 5-of-11 three-point tries.
Pittsburgh, which missed eight of its first nine shots, kept it close by
outrebounding Marquette 23-15 in the opening 20 minutes.

Game Notes

Gray recorded his 10th double-double of the season…Marquette head coach Tom
Crean spent the 1994-95 season as an assistant at Pittsburgh…This was the
first matchup between these schools as Big East rivals and the first meeting
since Marquette posted a 77-74 victory in the Sweet 16 of the 2003 NCAA
Tournament.

MARQUETTE PITT