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Knight shakes off doldrums with season-high 23 points

2/19/2003

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brandin Knight, shaking off a senior-year
slump, scored a season-high 23 points as No. 9 Pittsburgh beat
Georgetown 82-67 Tuesday night.

Knight, who has been struggling to match his third-team
All-American season from a year ago, was 7-for-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 took over the game down the stretch, scoring seven points in
an 11-4 run that gave Pitt an eight-point lead with seven minutes
to play. He also had six assists.

Knight, who entered the game shooting 33 percent from the field
and 45 percent from the line, has battled a sprained ankle and the
flu at various times this season.

Donatas Zavackas, in his first game as a reserve, added 17
points and was 3-for-4 from 3-point range for the Panthers (18-4,
8-3 Big East), who broke a three-game road losing streak.

Mike Sweetney had 28 points and eight rebounds for Georgetown
(11-11, 3-8), which fell back into last place in the Big East West
Division. The Hoyas have lost seven of eight and are in danger of
not qualifying for the Big East tournament for the first time. The
15-point defeat was their worst of the season.

The Hoyas have lost more than their share by one point and in
overtime, but Knight made sure that wouldn't happen when he hit a
3-pointer, two free throws and a runner in the paint during the key
run in the second half.

While Knight was taking control, the Hoyas weren't going to
their big threat. Sweetney failed to touch the ball on three
consecutive offensive possessions during the run.

The game was postponed 24 hours by the massive weekend snowstorm
that hit the mid-Atlantic. Pittsburgh had been in town since
Saturday, but there weren't enough officials available to play the
game Monday.

The stir-crazy Panthers showed the effects of three days cooped
up in a hotel when they made just two shots in six sluggish minutes
to start the game. Georgetown took an 11-4 lead behind Sweetney and
Gerald Riley, but Knight made up ground with a 3-pointer that cut the
lead to one and another that gave Pitt a 22-20 lead.

Tony Bethel hit two 3-pointers late in the half for Georgetown
and it was 33-33 at halftime. Knight, averaging 9.7 points a game, had 10 at halftime.

The Panthers opened the second half with a 7-0 run, but the
Hoyas topped it with a 9-0 spurt to go ahead 42-40. Pitt had seven
turnovers in first 6½ minutes of the second half.

Chevon Troutman, whose field goal percentage would easily lead
the nation if he had taken just a few more shots, scored seven
points on 3-for-5 shooting and had nine rebounds for Pitt. Troutman
entered the game shooting 74.3 percent, threatening Steve Johnson's
NCAA record of 74.6 percent. He started for just the third time
this season, taking Zavackas' spot in the lineup.