PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Pittsburgh was having trouble taking care of the ball and the shots weren't falling. So the sixth-ranked Panthers went outside the 3-point line in the second half and beat Rutgers 70-63 on Sunday. " />
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Rutgers Edged by #5 Pittsburgh in BIG EAST Opener, 70-63
  • Posted on January 12, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Pittsburgh was having trouble taking care of the ball and the shots weren't falling. So the sixth-ranked Panthers went outside the 3-point line in the second half and beat Rutgers 70-63 on Sunday.

    Brandin Knight made both his 3-point attempts in the second half, the last with 3:18 remaining to give Pitt the lead for good. The Panthers went 7-for-8 from beyond the arc in the second half and were 10-for-18 on 3s for the game, a far cry from their 32 percent 3-point shooting entering the game. The strong shooting offset 24 turnovers, which matched the team's season high.

    "This is a tough building to play in," Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland said, referring to sold-out Rutgers Athletic Center. "If you do the other things, like shoot a high percentage and make tough shots, you can win, even with the turnovers."

    The Panthers (12-1, 2-0 Big East) entered the game averaging 16 turnovers and shooting 52 percent from the field. In the first half, they had 14 turnovers and shot 39 percent, yet the game was tied at 25 at the break.

    Rutgers (8-5, 0-1) used a trapping press to keep Pitt from getting comfortable on offense, and the Panthers still had 10 turnovers in the second half. But the shooting changed dramatically in the second half as Pitt went 14-for-22 (64 percent) to finish at 51 percent for the game.

    "They hit some big 3-point shots," Rutgers coach Gary Waters said. "I thought the pressure was effective, but the issue is we have to capitalize on it better."

    As the 3s were falling for Pitt, the Scarlet Knights wouldn't go away and Herve Lamizana's shot in the lane brought a 56-all tie with 3:45 to play. Knight hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game 27 seconds later for a 59-56 lead.

    "I just felt like I was going to get an opportunity," he said. "I went off the screen and I knew (Sean) Axani was going to be a little late. He was late and I thought I had an opportunity to make it."

    Waters said that shot was "the one that hurt us."

    "He came off a ball screen and we had just talked about it in the timeout and said to trap off it, but we didn't," Waters said.

    Jerome Coleman of Rutgers scored in the lane with 2:56 left, but Donatas Zavackas hit a 3 with 2:31 left to give the Panthers a 62-58 lead. That was as close as Rutgers would get the rest of the game, as Pittsburgh went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line over the final 2:01.

    "When you're making free throws at a crucial point, that can really help," Knight said. "If we don't make those free throws then, the game could be a little different."

    Ontario Lett and Julius Page each had 12 points for Pittsburgh, and Lett had eight rebounds to lead its 33-26 advantage on the boards. Pitt entered the game with an average margin of victory of 23.3 points.

    Coleman had 20 points for Rutgers, which was looking for its first win over a top 10 team since beating No. 6 West Virginia at home on Feb. 1, 1982. Kareem Wright added a season-high 13 points, all in the second half, for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers lost its third home game this season, one more than all of 2001-02.

    "We outplayed them, but we beat ourselves today," Wright said. "We have to play defense and not allow those 3s. That killed us and we have to stop that if we're going to win games."

    The win was Pitt's third straight since losing at Georgia and its fourth straight over Rutgers, which it swept last season.

    POSTGAME NOTES

    WITH THE LOSS
    With the 70-63 loss vs. Pittsburgh, Rutgers is now 22-16 all-time against Pittsburgh.

    SELLOUT CROWD
    The official attendance of 8003 vs. Pittsburgh marks the second sellout of the season. It is the 5th sellout in the Gary Waters era and 39th sellout in the history of the Rutgers Athletic Center.

    COLEMAN SCORES 20 OR MORE
    With his 20 points vs. Pittsburgh, Jerome Coleman has scored 20 or more points five times this season, leading Rutgers to a 4-1 mark. For his career, Coleman has tallied 20 or more in 15 contests, leading Rutgers to a 11-4 record. Coleman has scored in double-digits in 10 of the 13 Scarlet Knight contests this season, leading Rutgers to a 7-3 record. For his career, Coleman has scored 10 or more points in 36 out of 44 games leading Rutgers to a 22-14 record.

    COLEMAN THREE-POINT FIELD-GOALS MADE
    Connecting on three 3-point baskets vs. Pittsburgh, Jerome Coleman has made 135 for his career, surpassing Tom Savage’s (1987-1991) 133 for sole position of 6th on Rutgers all-time list.

    WRIGHT SEASON-HIGH IN POINTS
    With 13 points vs. Pittsburgh, senior center Kareem Wright set a season-high in points, eclipsing his previous high of eight accomplished twice. During a 9:37 span in the second-half, Wright scored 13 of 22 points tallied by the Scarlet Knights.

    RUTGERS DEFENSE
    Forcing 23 turnovers vs. Pittsburgh marks the 9th time this season Rutgers has forced at least 20 turnovers in a game.

    AXANI MAKES FIRST START OF THE SEASON
    Versus Pittsburgh, junior forward Sean Axani made his first appearance in the starting lineup for the Scarlet Knights this season and 15 in his Rutgers career.

    Official Basketball Box Score
    Pittsburgh vs Rutgers
    01/12/03 2:00 pm at Louis Brown Athletic Center
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VISITORS: Pittsburgh 12-1, 2-0
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    05 ZAVACKAS, Donatas... f  3-7    2-3    2-2    0  2  2   4  10  3  4  0  0  22
    50 LETT, Ontario....... f  5-7    0-0    2-3    2  6  8   5  12  1  5  1  0  22
    01 PAGE, Julius........ g  3-6    2-4    4-4    1  2  3   2  12  1  3  0  2  33
    04 BROWN, Jaron........ g  2-7    0-1    2-2    0  1  1   0   6  2  0  0  1  34
    20 KNIGHT, Brandin..... g  5-11   5-8    2-5    1  2  3   2  17  5  4  0  1  38
    02 TROUTMAN, Chevon....    4-5    0-0    1-4    5  1  6   4   9  1  3  0  1  26
    11 KRAUSER, Carl.......    1-2    1-2    0-0    0  2  2   1   3  3  4  0  0  14
    55 MORRIS, Toree.......    0-0    0-0    1-2    1  0  1   1   1  0  0  0  0  11
       TEAM................                         2  5  7             1
       Totals..............   23-45  10-18  14-22  12 21 33  19  70 16 24  1  5 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-23 39.1%   2nd Half: 14-22 63.6%   Game: 51.1%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-10 30.0%   2nd Half:  7-8  87.5%   Game: 55.6%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half: 10-14 71.4%   Game: 63.6%    3
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HOME TEAM: Rutgers 8-5, 0-1
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    01 LAMIZANA, Herve..... f  3-9    0-1    2-2    2  2  4   3   8  0  3  2  2  29
    32 AXANI, Sean......... f  1-4    0-0    1-2    4  1  5   5   3  0  0  2  1  22
    02 SHIELDS, Ricky...... g  3-8    3-7    2-2    1  3  4   2  11  3  2  0  1  36
    03 SHERROD, Mike....... g  2-5    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   4   4  3  0  0  2  27
    11 COLEMAN, Jerome..... g  7-16   3-9    3-4    2  0  2   3  20  1  4  0  3  36
    05 DAVIS, Cortez.......    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   1   1  0  1  0  0   3
    13 WIGGAN, Juel........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  1  0  0  0   6
    21 McCOY, Jason........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  0  0   4
    44 WOOTEN, Calvin......    1-3    0-2    1-2    1  1  2   0   3  2  0  0  0  13
    55 WRIGHT, Kareem......    5-8    0-0    3-6    1  2  3   5  13  1  4  0  0  24
       TEAM................                            1  1
       Totals..............   22-53   6-19  13-20  11 15 26  25  63 11 14  4  9 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-20 40.0%   2nd Half: 14-33 42.4%   Game: 41.5%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-9  44.4%   2nd Half:  2-10 20.0%   Game: 31.6%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  5-10 50.0%   2nd Half:  8-10 80.0%   Game: 65.0%    6
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Officials: Jim Burr, Tony Greene, Steve Welmer
    Technical fouls: Pittsburgh-None. Rutgers-None.
    Attendance: 8003
    Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
    Pittsburgh....................   25   45  -   70
    Rutgers.......................   25   38  -   63
    2nd sellout of the season
    
    Points in the paint-PITT 26,RUTGERS 28. Points off turnovers-PITT 17,RUTGERS 24.
    2nd chance points-PITT 11,RUTGERS 10. Fast break points-PITT 12,RUTGERS 6.
    Bench points-PITT 13,RUTGERS 17. Score tied-8 times. Lead changes-5 times.
    
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