Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Pitt finally picks up signature victory with blowout of Duke

PITTSBURGH — James Robinson held onto the moment. An hour after Pittsburgh's biggest win of the season, a decidedly one-sided 76-62 dissection of No. 15 Duke on Sunday, the senior point guard stood in a sparse Petersen Events Center surrounded by friends and family, posing for pictures and shaking hands.

Robinson's final home game won't be his last moment in the spotlight. A vintage performance by the Panthers and their steady leader made sure of that.

The Panthers, after a series of fits and starts, are improving. The NCAA Tournament, after a blowout of the defending national champions, is beckoning.

"We're a team that's matured and come together and played our best basketball, and our seniors are playing their best basketball," coach Jamie Dixon said. "James Robinson is playing his best basketball. We've let him down in a few of these losses to ranked teams, but I thought we made up for it."

Robinson was his typically efficient self, scoring 14 to go with seven assists, three rebounds and just one turnover in his school-record 130th start. Jamel Artis added 17 points and the Panthers (20-8, 9-7 ACC) beat a ranked team for the first time in seven tries this season to give them some major momentum heading into March.

Pitt held Duke to 37 percent shooting (18-of-48) and outscored the Blue Devils in the paint 24-6.

"Their defense was outstanding, and their pursuit of the ball was even better," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "They were superb, and I'm not sure if we were. We were out of character."

SETON HALL 90, NO. 5 XAVIER 81: Desi Rodriguez had career highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds for the host Pirates (21-7, 11-5 Big East), who all but clinched their first NCAA Tournament berth in a decade by knocking off the Musketeers (25-4, 13-4).

NO. 6 MICH. ST. 88, PENN ST. 57: Denzel Valentine started slow and finished strong with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the host Spartans (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten), who have won four straight.

OHIO ST. 68, NO. 8 IOWA 64: Marc Loving scored 25, including a one-and-one with less than two seconds left, and the host Buckeyes (19-11, 11-6 Big Ten) rallied from a late deficit to stun the Hawkeyes (20-8, 11-5).

NO. 13 OREGON 86, WASH. 73: Elgin Cook matched his career high with 26 points for the Ducks (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12), who won their 25th straight home game, extending their school record.

NO. 24 SMU 74, TULANE 53: Ben Moore scored 16 for the host Mustangs (24-4, 12-4 AAC), who moved back into a first-place tie atop the league with Temple.

Women

UF 56, AUBURN 49: January Miller and Cassie Peoples scored 11 each for the host Gators (22-7, 10-6 SEC), who overcame 25.5 percent shooting (13-of-51) from the field to rally past the Tigers (18-11, 8-8).

NO. 12 FSU 70, NO. 17 MIAMI 67: Leticia Romero scored a career-high 24 and hit five free throws in the final 17 seconds as the host Seminoles (23-6, 13-3 ACC) held off the Hurricanes (22-7, 10-6).

NO. 3 S.C. 75, LSU 39: Tiffany Mitchell scored a season-high 24 for the host Gamecocks (28-1), who joined the 2011 Tennessee squad as the only 16-0 SEC champions.

NO. 6 MARYLAND 110, MINN. 77: Tierney Pfirman had a career-high 29 points as the host Terrapins (27-3, 16-2 Big Ten) won the regular-season conference title.

NO. 7 OREGON ST. 54, CAL 44: Ruth Hamblin had a career-high 19 rebounds, Marie Gulich scored six straight spanning the third and fourth quarters and the visiting Beavers (25-4, 16-2 Pac-12) matched a program record for conference wins.

NO. 14 UCLA 74, NO. 9 ARIZ. ST. 61: Nirra Fields scored 24, Jordin Canada added 22 and the host Bruins (22-7, 14-4 Pac-12) clinched a tie for third in the conference by snapping a seven-game winning streak by the Sun Devils (25-5, 16-2).

NO. 10 L'VILLE 65, PITT 36: Myisha Hines-had 25 points and 13 rebounds, her third double double in the past five games, as the host Cardinals (24-6, 15-1 ACC) won their sixth straight.

NO. 15 KENTUCKY 71, NO. 11 TEXAS A&M 58: Evelyn Akhator and Alexis Jennings combined for 30 points and 34 rebounds for the visiting Wildcats (21-6, 10-6 SEC), who won their sixth straight and ended a six-game winning streak by the Aggies (21-8, 11-6).

NO. 13 STANFORD 69, OREGON 42: Erica McCall had her 15th double double of the season by halftime and finished with 25 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, and the host Cardinal (24-6, 14-4 Pac-12) rolled to its 1,001st victory.

NO. 16 MISS. ST. 61, ALABAMA 52: Dominique Dillingham scored 13 of her 17 in the second half for the host Bulldogs (23-6, 11-5 SEC), who secured the third seed for the conference tournament.

VANDY 56, NO. 24 MISSOURI 52: Christa Reed scored 20 and had a key block late as the visiting Commodores handed the Tigers (21-8, 8-8 SEC) their second straight loss.

SSC tournament

The Sunshine State Conference tournaments begin Wednesday. On the men's side, No. 2 seed Eckerd hosts Florida Tech and No. 4 Saint Leo hosts Nova Southeastern, both at 7 p.m. For the women, No. 5 Tampa is at Barry at 5:30 and No. 7 Eckerd is at Florida Tech at 7.

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