Thursday , Jan , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Gray, No. 7 Pitt roll past DePaul

Rosemont, IL (Sports Network) – Aaron Gray had 18 points and seven rebounds
as the seventh-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers bested the DePaul Blue Demons,
59-49, at Allstate Arena.

“Obviously I was real excited for the opportunity, being one-on-one, playing
man-to-man defense,” Gray said. “I feel I took advantage of it. At the same
time, there are a lot of things I think I could have done better. I need to
continue to be better for this team to be better.”

Antonio Graves added 10 points and Mike Cook chipped in 10 points, six
rebounds and three assists for the Panthers (15-2, 3-0 Big East), who have won
five straight contests.

“We’re not into embarrassing our opponents,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon
said. “Some games he’s [Gray] going to have more. I thought (DePaul) would
double-team more, and they didn’t do that.”

Draelon Burns poured in 15 points and grabbed four boards while Sammy Mejia,
who was averaging 16.1 points before the contest, was held to just 10 with
seven rebounds for DePaul (10-7, 1-2), which has lost two of its last three

The Panthers jumped out to an 11-5 lead behind five points from Graves.

Burns’ layup narrowed the gap to 14-11, but Pittsburgh finished the half with
a 14-7 run, which began with four straight points from Gray. The seven-foot,
200-pound center capped the run with a dunk for a 28-18 halftime lead.

Wilson Chandler’s free throw brought the Blue Demons within six, 28-22, but
the Panthers responded with a 12-4 spurt, highlighted by Graves’ trey,
extending the margin to 40-26.

Gray’s layup pushed the advantage to 44-30, but DePaul wouldn’t go away as it
reeled off an 11-4 rally, including a pair of threes by Burns and another from
Chandler, cutting the deficit to 48-41 with 3:40 on the clock.

However, the Panthers responded with six straight points to put the game away.

Game Notes

Pitt shot 45 percent from the field while the Blue Demons shot an abysmal 35
percent from the floor, including 6-of-23 from long distance. Pittsburgh has
held its last 66 opponents to under 50 percent from the field…Pittsburgh
welcomes Georgetown while DePaul travels to Rutgers on Saturday…The Blue
Demons had a nine-game home winning streak, dating back to last season,
snapped…Chandler finished with nine points and eight rebounds in the
loss…Pitt’s Levance Fields had eight points, seven boards and seven assists.