Sunday , Nov , 19 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

No.4 Pittsburgh hangs on to beat Oakland

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Aaron Gray made sure an early-season upset
didn’t happen, scoring 23 points and grabbing 13 rebounds as No. 4 Pittsburgh
survived a scare for a 66-55 victory over Oakland as part of Colonial
Basketball Classic.

Frontcourt mate Levon Kendall posted 11 points and nine rebounds for the
Panthers (5-0), who have won all five of their games by double digits while
not leaving the friendly confines of the Petersen Events Center.

Vova Severovas tallied 17 points and Erik Kangas added 11 for Oakland (3-2),
which played the Panthers tough throughout. The Golden Grizzlies forced 17
turnovers to stay within striking distance.

Severovas’ layup brought the Golden Grizzlies within 47-45 with just over 12
minutes remaining, but the Panthers reeled off 10 consecutive points to put
the game back on safe footing.

Antonio Graves and Gray converted easy layups and Kendall converted a three-
point play. Mike Cook’s free throw and Keith Benjamin’s layup ended the spurt
with 7:02 remaining.

Oakland got back within eight on four straight points from Severovas, but
Benjamin’s three-pointer ended any hope of a comeback.

The first half was played at Oakland’s pace, with the Golden Grizzlies’
swarming defense wrecking havoc on the physical Pittsburgh offense.

Oakland jumped out to a 9-2 lead, and held a 27-18 edge on Severovas’ lay-in
with 7:30 remaining in the first half.

The Golden Grizzlies led 33-29 at the half.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh won the only previous meeting…Gray is the Big East Preseason
Player of the Year…Pitt shot 49 percent from the floor, while Oakland made
37 percent of its shots…Oakland compiled 15 points off turnovers.