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Wagner hangs on, shocks No. 13 Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — When Danny Hurley took over at Wagner a year ago, he pledged to turn the woeful Seahawks around with a mixture of toughness and grit.

Consider his rebuilding project well ahead of schedule.

Latif Rivers had all 18 of his points in the second half Friday — including six free throws in the final minute — to lead the Seahawks (8-3) to a 59-54 shocker over No. 15 Pittsburgh.

Wagner, which went 5-26 the season before Hurley arrived, beat a ranked opponent for the first time since knocking off No. 15 Alabama on Nov. 24, 1978.

"You know the Big East is one of the biggest conferences," Wagner guard Kenneth Ortiz said. "Us being a mid major, this is something big. Everyone wants to be top-ranked."

Pitt (11-2) had been 70-0 against NEC foes but never led in the final 33 minutes against the school from Staten Island, N.Y.

NO. 4 Louisville 70, W. KY. 60: Russ Smith had 23 points and the host Cardinals (12-0) overcame an eight-point deficit in the second half.

NO. 6 BAYLOR 83, W. VA. 81, OT: Guard Pierre Jackson scored 23, including a 3-pointer in overtime to give the Bears (11-0) the lead for good at the Las Vegas Classic.

NO. 13 WISCONSIN 79, MVSU 45: Jordan Taylor scored 17 to lead the host Badgers (11-2), who led Mississippi Valley State 20-4 in the first eight minutes in their final game before Big Ten play.

NO 21 UNLV 85, CAL 68: The Rebels (13-2) won their eighth straight at the Thomas and Mack Center as Anthony Marshall had 22 points and nine rebounds.

SKID closes in on RECORD: Towson lost its 31st consecutive game, 65-49 to visiting Vermont, to get within three of the Division I record. Sacramento State lost 34 in a row from 1997-99. The Tigers (0-12) lost their final 19 last season under former Florida State coach Pat Kennedy, who was replaced by Pat Skeery this season.

LATE THURSDAY: Freshman Michael Caffey scored a career-high 14 as Long Beach State upset No. 14 Xavier 68-58 at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

JURISPRUDENCE: Former Seton Hall player Robert Mitchell was sentenced to five years' probation for his role in an armed robbery. Mitchell, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty last fall.

State

TENN. TECH 67, BETHUNE-COOKMAN 59: Jud Dillard and Kevin Murphy each scored 22 for the Golden Eagles at the Las Vegas Classic. Kevin Dukes, who led the Wildcats (4-9) with 14 points, made a 3-pointer to get Bethune-Cookman within 60-59.

Women

NO. 18 GREEN BAY 65, WIS. 49: Senior Julie Wojta scored a career-high 29 for the visiting Phoenix (10-0), who trailed 34-28 at halftime. Wojta's back-to-back baskets sparked a 13-3 run.

Wagner hangs on, shocks No. 13 Pittsburgh 12/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 23, 2011 11:50pm]
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