Krauser stars as No. 14 Pitt routs Cincinnati
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Carl Krauser shook off a poor-shooting
first half to finish with 18 points as 14th-ranked Pittsburgh handed
Cincinnati an 89-69 loss at Petersen Events Center.
Keith Benjamin added 16 points while Aaron Gray had 15 along with 10 rebounds
for the Panthers (19-3, 8-3 Big East), who improved to 15-0 at home for the
year. Ronald Ramon contributed 14 points and six assists to the triumph.
Jihad Muhammad topped the Bearcats (16-9, 5-6) with 21 points and Eric Hicks
scored 15 for Cincinnati, which was coming off a key conference win over
Louisville on Monday.
Pittsburgh, which shot a robust 56 percent for the game, seized control with a
10-0 first-half run capped when Benjamin was fouled behind the three-point
arc. He hit all three free throws to put the Panthers up 19-7 with 11:47
remaining before intermission.
The Bearcats closed the gap with a 10-2 burst over the next three minutes,
with Muhammad netting eight of those points, to pull within 23-19. However,
Pittsburgh scored seven of the last nine points of the half and took a 33-23
advantage into the locker room after Krauser sunk two foul shots in the waning
Krauser had only three first-half points and went 0-for-7 from the field in
the opening 20 minutes. However, the standout guard regrouped after the break
to help the Panthers seal the win.
After Cincinnati drew within 48-42 on a three-point play from Devan Downey,
Benjamin knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to restore the double-digit
margin six minutes into the session.
The Panthers put the contest out of reach by reeling off nine straight points
down the stretch. Ramon hit three foul shots to start the run and Krauser had
a pair of key baskets, the last of which gave Pittsburgh a 77-58 heading into
the final five minutes.
Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati for just the second time in eight lifetime
meetings…The teams hadn’t met since the 1979-80 campaign…Pittsburgh
finished the game with a 43-25 advantage in rebounding…The Panthers snapped
a two-game slide with a 57-53 win over No. 9 West Virginia on
Thursday…Muhammad ended 9-of-16 from the field.