Robert Morris 59

(1-3, 1-3 away)

(16) Pittsburgh 83

(2-0, 2-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 24, 2004

    Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    1 2 T
    RMU 30 2959
    #16PITT 42 4183

    Top Performers

    Robert Morris: M. Carter 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast

    Pittsburgh: C. Krauser 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 5 Stl

    16-0 run in first half sparks Panthers

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh star Chris Taft needed only 22 minutes to do what few players will accomplish in a full game against Robert Morris this season.

    Taft and Chevon Troutman led a 16-0 run during the final six minutes of the first half that rallied the Panthers (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) from a sluggish start to an 83-59 victory over their city rival Wednesday night.

    Taft finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, while point guard Carl Krauser scored 18 and Troutman had 10 points, five steals and five rebounds. Krauser, held to five points in an opening-game 81-55 victory over Howard, also had five assists and five steals.

    Troutman, at 6-foot-7 the second-tallest player on the court to the 6-10 Taft, keyed the run with four steals in just over three minutes, leading to three baskets.

    But it was Taft, last season's Big East rookie of the year, who most impressed the Colonials (1-3). They aren't likely to see a player with his ability in the Northeast Conference.

    "Obviously, we don't have anybody who can match up with a guy like that," Robert Morris coach Mark Schmidt said. "He's a tough player, one of the best in the country. You can only hope to deny him the ball, but it's probably not going to happen for 40 minutes."

    Or even 22 minutes.

    "He's going to be a first-round draft pick in the NBA," Schmidt said.

    After Pittsburgh (2-0) began to pull away, the Colonials seemed to back off whenever Taft got the ball. Taft had six of his nine rebounds on the offensive end.

    "If they're grown men and they're intimidated, that's crazy," Taft said. "I just told myself to be aggressive and go for the ball. If it looks like they were intimidated, I guess they were."

    Pittsburgh won its 42nd in a row at home against non-conference opponents, despite a mostly uninspiring effort for much of the game against an opponent that lost its previous two games to Ohio State and Virginia by a combined 65 points.

    "I told our guys that the NBA portion of our schedule is over now," Schmidt said.

    The Panthers are 24-0 against Robert Morris and 60-0 against Northeast Conference teams.

    The Colonials tried making a game of it, with Maurice Carter hitting four of the seven 3-pointers that helped them open a 30-26 lead with 14 minutes gone. But they didn't score again until Derek Coleman's jumper made it 42-32 with 19:40 left in the second half.

    "You can't make tough shots for 40 minutes and that's how we defend," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "When they were 7-of-8 from 3-point range, we told our kids to not panic and stick with your stuff."

    The Colonials got within six at 42-36, only to gradually wear down in a game in which, at times, every Pitt player was taller than opposing Robert Morris player. Pitt led 37-22 in rebounding and had 11 steals to Robert Morris' three.

    Carter scored 17 points, but only five after halftime. Mark Anderson added 16 points and Chaz McCrommon 14 for the Colonials, whose schedule finally begins to lighten with a Nov. 29 game against Thiel.

    Pittsburgh is 37-1 at home since opening the Petersen Events Center two years ago, and 53-2 at home the last four seasons.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 59 83
    FG Made-Attempted 22-46 (.478) 30-61 (.492)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-20 (.500) 7-20 (.350)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-5 (1.000) 16-26 (.615)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 11 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 27

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 24, 2004 @PITT 83, RMU 59Recap