Final OT

(16) Pittsburgh 66

(11-2, 1-1 Big East)

Rutgers 63

(6-5, 0-1 Big East)

    2:00 PM ET, January 8, 2005

    Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, New Jersey

    1 2 OT T
    #16PITT 35 23 866
    RUTG 29 29 563

    Top Performers

    Pittsburgh: C. Taft 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Blk

    Rutgers: R. Shields 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast

    Ramon scores career high 21 for Panthers

    PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Guard Ronald Ramon is the only freshman in Pittsburgh's nine-man rotation. He was the big man for the Panthers (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) on Saturday as they ended a two-game losing streak.

    The New York City native scored a career-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers, in a 66-63 overtime victory over Rutgers.

    "Ronald was just big time," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "He wasn't a freshman anymore, not making big plays like he did."

    Ramon looked like he would be the hero in regulation when his 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds left gave the Panthers (11-2, 1-1 Big East) a 58-55 lead.

    But Ricky Shields hit a 3 from the left side with 0.4 seconds left for Rutgers (6-5, 0-1) to force overtime.

    "Our guys responded and battled," Dixon said. "It looked like things weren't going our way again when they hit the tying shot, but our guys made the big plays."

    Pitt, which had been ranked as high as No. 10 and was coming off home losses to Bucknell and Georgetown, took the lead for good at 64-63 on a drive by Antonio Graves with 41 seconds to play. It was Graves' first points in more than 39 minutes.

    He missed the free throw that would have completed a three-point play, but Chevon Troutman tipped the rebound out to Graves. Graves, who finished with seven points, was fouled with 25 seconds left and made two free throws to make it 66-63.

    Rutgers missed two 3-point attempts -- the last by Shields with 1.1 seconds to go -- around two missed free throws by Krauser.

    Graves laughed when told of the long break between points.

    "I really don't remember anything like that before," he said. "Hey, I hit my very first shot and my last shot."

    The game was played at a slow pace, with the 35-second shot clock usually reaching single digits and several possessions ending with shots as clock was running out.

    Ramon entered the game averaging 7.2 points with a high of 12 against Howard. He was 7-for-11 from the field, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range.

    "A two-game losing streak means a team will come out to play, especially here," Ramon said. "This team will stay tough at all times no matter what happens."

    Chris Taft added 17 points and nine rebounds for Pitt, while Troutman had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

    Krauser, who leads Pitt in scoring with a 16.5 average, had seven points on 2-for-6 shooting and he committed nine turnovers, three on offensive fouls. He had 41 turnovers in the first 12 games.

    After the game Krauser said he was bothered by the flu all week.

    "We needed different guys to step up with Carl having the turnovers but still contributing and battling through it," Dixon said.

    Shields had 18 points for the Scarlet Knights, while Quincy Douby added 17.

    "We just wanted to shut Krauser down because we felt they couldn't do anything without him," Shields said. "We let the kid get into a little flow early on in the game and it just carried on through."

    Rutgers had one timeout left but didn't call it before Shields' final shot.

    "That's on me and not them," Rutgers coach Gary Waters said of not calling the timeout. "I don't think they took it from us. We took it from ourselves."

    Waters knew Ramon well as Rutgers was one of his final three college choices.

    "Ramon was a guy we didn't put a lot of emphasis on. He shot great today," Waters said. "I didn't know he could come in and score 21 points. I recruited him as point guard because he can do some point guard things."

    This was the Panthers' seventh straight win over Rutgers. Pittsburgh was facing an 0-2 start in the league after going 13-3 each of the last three seasons.

    Troutman scored on a breakaway dunk with 16:11 to play to give Pittsburgh a 41-33 lead. He was called for hanging on the rim, and the two free throws by Shields started an 11-0 Rutgers run that was capped by Juel Wiggan's 3 that made it 44-41 with 12:30 left.

    There were six lead changes and two ties the rest of the way.

    Pittsburgh next plays on Saturday at home against Seton Hall. The trip to Rutgers -- the Panthers' second timeout of Pennsylvania this season -- could make the losing streak old news faster than people thought.

    "Any win in this league is good. Any road win is great," Dixon said. "This was a good test for our guys."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 66 63
    FG Made-Attempted 24-45 (.533) 24-61 (.393)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-14 (.429) 8-25 (.320)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-18 (.667) 7-7 (1.000)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 6

    2004-05 Season

    » Jan 8, 2005 PITT 66, @RUTG 63Recap