Strong defense lifts Pitt over WVU in Backyard Brawl
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Ronald Ramon and Aaron Gray each poured in
16 points, as 14th-ranked Pittsburgh used a smothering defense to beat No.
9 West Virginia, 57-53, at the Petersen Events Center.
Sam Young tallied 10 points for the Panthers (18-3, 7-3 Big East), who snapped
a two-game skid, but won their 14th straight home game.
For the first time in the 100-year and 169-game history of the basketball
“Backyard Brawl,” both Pitt and West Virginia entered the game ranked among
the nation’s top-25. However, at the end the Panthers’ defense dominated the
Mountaineers, holding high-scoring Kevin Pittsnogle to no points on 0-of-12
Pittsnogle entered the game leading the team with 19.5 points per game, but he
was part of a Mountaineer (17-5, 8-1) squad that shot 34 percent, on the way
to their first conference defeat. Mike Gansey had 12 points and Patrick
Beilein added 11 for West Virginia, which was just 6-of-27 from three-point
Carl Krauser finished with just eight points for the Panthers, but five of
those came in the final minute. His layup extended Pitt to a 53-48 lead with
39 seconds remaining. Krauser then hit two free throws for a seven-point
advantage and made one more foul shot.
The teams battled to a 22-22 tie at halftime, but WVU was horrendous from the
field, going 6-of-26 in the opening 20 minutes.
A layup by Young pushed Pitt to a 32-24 lead with 14:32 remaining and the
Panthers led by as many as 10 until a late charge had the Mountaineers within
51-48 following a Frank Young layup with 1:09 left.
West Virginia leads the all-time series, 91-78…Pittsburgh was 5-of-11 from
three-point range…The Panthers held the edge on the glass, 36-24.