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COLLEGE BASKETBALL Pitt finds the road more kind with a victory at Georgetown



Published: Sat, February 22, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The No. 9 Panthers ended a three-game road losing streak.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The road had not been kind to Pittsburgh this season.

There were the road losses to Georgia and Syracuse when the Panthers had a chance to move into the No. 1 spot in the AP poll for the first time in school history.

There was the heartbreaking, final-seconds loss at Notre Dame in a match-up of Top 10 teams and the defeat at Seton Hall which had the doubters asking if Pittsburgh was really one of the country's best teams.

Then came the snow. The blizzard that blasted the Eastern part of the country forced the Panthers to spend three days in their Washington, D.C., hotel as the game at Georgetown was postponed a day.

Turnaround

On Tuesday night, the road didn't seem so bad as Brevin Knight had a season-high 23 points to lead No. 9 Pittsburgh to an 82-67 victory over Georgetown.

"I think the snow-out helped us," Panthers coach Ben Howland said. "This was a lot of adversity with the weather and being on the road for five days. We had a very good practice, and it showed in how we played."

Even if the pre-game preparation included helping push the team bus out of the snow to get to practice Sunday and Monday?

"We were having to push it, dig it out, push it," Howland said. "It was unbelievable."

Panthers end road slump

Knight had six assists and took over down the stretch as Pittsburgh (18-4, 8-3 Big East) snapped a three-game road losing streak.

"I made my shots today," Knight said, "which is a first in a long time."

Knight was 7-of-12 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in scoring more than 20 points for only the second time this season. He entered shooting 33 percent from the field and 45 percent from the line.

"Brandin has really worked hard on his shooting the last 10 days, and it shows," Howland said. "He is finally to where he's getting back to his normal rhythm."

Mike Sweetney had 28 points and eight rebounds for Georgetown (11-11, 3-8), as the Hoyas fell back into last place in the Big East West Division and has lost seven of eight.

No. 12 Notre Dame 56, West Virginia 55

Dan Miller capped a 2-for-13 shooting game with an inside basket with 18 seconds left that gave the Irish (20-5, 8-3 Big East) their fourth straight 20-win season. Matt Carroll had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Notre Dame.

No. 15 Syracuse 66, St. John's 60

Carmelo Anthony had 21 points and the Orangemen (18-4, 9-3 Big East) went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line in the final 35 seconds to win their 17th consecutive home game. Marcus Hatten had 22 points and a school-record 10 steals for St. John's (12-10, 5-7).

No. 20 Illinois 70, Michigan St. 40

Freshman Dee Brown had 24 points, five rebounds and five steals and the Illini (17-5, 7-4 Big Ten) won their 15th straight home game by holding Michigan State scoreless for a 9:38 span in the second half.

No. 22 Georgia 74, Alabama 69

Jarvis Hayes scored 23 points and the Bulldogs (15-7, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) survived a wild comeback by Alabama to improve to 3-6 on the road. Mo Williams had 22 points for the Crimson Tide (14-8, 4-7).

Area

ALLIANCE -- Brad Gerald shot 5-for-8 from 3-point land and scored 18 points as Mount Union College defeated Wilmington 84-71 Tuesday.

Gerald tied the Mount Union record for 3-pointers in a season with 71.

Rob Paulauskas also scored 16 points and Chris Blakely had 13 for the Raiders (15-8, 10-6 Ohio Athletic Conference).

Deon Short led Wilmington (4-19, 2-14) with 15 points.




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