Young, Pitt fight for win

They beat Okla. St.

Xavier advances

East Regional

Ncaa Tournament

March 23, 2009|By From Sun news services

Sam Young scored 32 points and DeJuan Blair added a double double as No. 1 seed Pittsburgh advanced to the round of 16 for the fifth time in eight years with an 84-76 win over Oklahoma State yesterday in Dayton, Ohio.

Pitt (30-4) will play Xavier in the East Regional semifinals in Boston on Thursday.

"It's a tough bracket we're in," said Blair, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds. "We're just fighting through it."

Oklahoma State threw every punch it had.

Obi Muonelo scored 19 points for the eighth-seeded Cowboys (23-12), who gave the Panthers all they could handle before losing their touch in the final minutes. Oklahoma State made 10 three-pointers in the first half but only two of 12 after halftime.

"We were right there," said OSU guard Byron Eaton, who scored 15 and survived a collision with Blair. "We were never out of it. Pittsburgh's a good team."

The Panthers, who played poorly and barely escaped a first-round upset against No. 16 seed East Tennessee State, showed a champion's poise down the stretch.

The Cowboys tied it at 74 with 2:42 left on an inside shot by Marshall Moses.

But Pitt point guard Levance Fields drove for a layup and later made a three to make it 79-74 with 1:27 left.

Both teams received a huge scare in the first half when Eaton and Blair collided with 8:41 left.

Eaton was driving to basket when he tripped and fell into Blair, slamming his left shoulder into the Pitt center's left knee. The 265-pound Blair landed on top of Eaton. The two stars remained on the floor, Eaton grabbing his shoulder and Blair his knee. The game was stopped for several minutes.

Eaton went to the bench for less than a minute and returned. Blair, with blood specks on his white uniform, went to the locker room and returned with his left wrist wrapped.

Xavier 60, Wisconsin 49: : B.J. Raymond scored 15 points and the Musketeers finally broke through the Badgers' defense midway through the second half, pulling away for a victory in Boise, Idaho.

No. 4 seed Xavier (27-7) struggled as No. 12 Wisconsin controlled the pace for the first 30 minutes, before the Musketeers pulled away with a 13-4 run and hung on to the lead from the foul line.

"We didn't lose faith in what got us here," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "We reminded our team that we have been against styles like that and it requires a lot of tough-mindedness and patience."

Wisconsin (20-13) kept Xavier off balance, but the tight defense wasn't enough to overcome 29 percent shooting. The Badgers were 16-for-56 from the field and made three of 20 three-point attempts.

Marcus Landry scored 18 and Trevon Hughes had 17 points for the Badgers.

Xavier was 18-for-46 from the field and just 18-for-26 from the foul line.

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