Troutman lifts Panthers in back-and-forth game

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- It wasn't easy, but Pittsburgh finally won a
home game.

Chevon Troutman scored 10 of his 23 points in the final 4:47
Saturday to lift the Panthers (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 20 AP) to a 67-63 victory over
Seton Hall in a game of runs.

Pittsburgh had won 43 of its first 44 games in the 3-year-old
Petersen Events Center before losing its last two there, 69-66 to
Bucknell and by the same score to Georgetown. The Panthers (12-2,
2-1 Big East) won 66-63 at Rutgers last Saturday.

"I just felt like the game was going to come down to a
three-point game at the end like the last three games," Troutman
said. "I felt the ball was coming to me, so I had to take
advantage of the opportunities."

The Panthers closed the game on an 11-3 run after making only
one field goal for a stretch of almost 9 minutes. From the 13:39
mark of the second half until there was 4:45 to play, Seton Hall
(8-6, 0-3) outscored Pitt 24-3, including a 15-0 run at one point.

"I think what happened was we did a bad job executing when they
made their run," Panthers point guard Carl Krauser said. "We just
made a couple bad plays."

Just as quickly, however, the momentum swung back, and Pitt
outscored Seton Hall 16-5 down the stretch after trailing 58-51.

"Our emotions changed," Seton Hall senior John Allen said.
"At one point our emotions were high, and then Troutman had two
three-point plays and everybody's emotion just dropped."

Pitt outscored the Pirates 36-20 in the paint in handing them
their third straight loss since conference play started.

In addition to the 23 points from the 6-foot-7 Troutman, one off
his career high set more then 2 years ago, 6-10 center Chris Taft
had 14 points and 6-10 reserve Mark McCarroll added eight despite
feeling ill before and during the game.

Taft had five of the Panthers' seven blocks, including one on
Jamar Nutter with 14 seconds to play, and grabbed seven rebounds.
Seton Hall starting center Grant Billmeier had four fouls in as
many minutes and did not score.

"We may have taken away the (3-point shot) and that allowed
Troutman and Taft to have a little more freedom down low," Seton
Hall coach Louis Orr said.

Krauser had nine points, eight rebounds and six assists.

"I was just trying to set the tone, trying to get the ball down
low to Chevy, Chris and Mark," Krauser said. "They were down low
battling, so I felt it was only right to get them the ball."

The Pirates were without junior guard Donald Copeland, who did
not make the trip to Pittsburgh after experiencing flu-like

Allen and freshman Justin Cerasoli each had 15 points to lead
Seton Hall, and J.R. Morris added 12.

The Pirates didn't score their first points until the 15:30 mark
of the first half when Cerasoli converted a three-point play.
Pitt's offensive output wasn't much better as that tied the score.

Pitt went on a 16-5 run to close out the first half and take its
largest lead to that point, 38-28.

Seton Hall, which led by as many as seven points early, shot
only 37 percent from the field and 43 percent from the free throw
line in the first half. It shot only 40 percent from the field for
the game.

"We showed a lot of courage today," Orr said. "Im proud of
our toughness, being on the road, being down, we didn't give up.
And that's all you can do. We turned a 10-12-point deficit into a
six-point lead. It's not an easy place to play and Pitt is a very
good team."

The win marked the 100th for the Panthers senior class of
Troutman, McCarroll and starting shooting guard Yuri Demetris. It
is only the second class in school history to win 100 games.

"Both teams just battled," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "It
was a great win against a very good team for us. Being down and not
giving up, that's the best thing about this team and that's what
they did."