Robinson, McGhee lead No. 4 Pitt over WVUFeb 8, 2011 - 4:11 AM Pittsburgh's inside beef made up for the absence of injured guard Ashton Gibbs in a 71-66 victory over bitter rival and No. 25 West Virginia.
Travon Woodall, who started in Gibbs' place, tallied 12 points and backcourt mate Brad Wanamaker posted 11 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers (22-2, 10-1 Big East), who have won three straight and reached the 20-win, 10- conference win plateau for the 10th straight season.
Gibbs will miss the next 10-14 days after an MRI revealed a strain to the MCL in his left knee, an injury suffered while he was on his way to a 25-point barrage on Saturday versus Cincinnati.
"Ashton wasn't playing and I think we really got the message across to our guys in the last 24 hours," said Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon.
Deniz Kilicli scored a career-best 19 points for West Virginia, mostly on an array on hook shots in the lane and on the baseline. Kevin Jones added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Casey Mitchell, in his second game back after a three-game suspension, added seven second-half points. John Flowers, one of West Virginia's best players, posted just five points as he sat for most of the second half with four fouls. The Mountaineers (15-8, 6-5) have dropped two consecutive games.
"They out-manned us is what happened," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "They beat us to death on the offensive glass and drove it where they wanted to drive it."
Both teams struggled in the halfcourt set in a close-to-the-vest, low-scoring first half that ended with the homestanding Mountaineers holding a slim 25-23 edge.
The Panthers took a six-point advantage working off the same offensive formula of entry passes into the post and picking their spots in transition. One of those opportunities came on a Lamar Patterson run-out layup for a 39-33 game.
Dalton Pepper hit the first of two three-pointers off the bench for the foul- riddled Flowers, cutting the deficit to 42-41 and his second three, from nearly the same spot in the left corner, gave West Virginia a 46-45 lead.
Pittsburgh scored nine of the next 11 points, taking a 54-48 lead on Woodall's jumper from the wing with just under 6 1/2 minutes on the clock. The Mountaineers worked their way back within two on one of many Kilicli hook shots, and his three-point play moments later drew the home team within a point at 59-58.
Gilbert Brown's three-point play with 70 seconds left was the dagger, moving the Panthers out to a six-point margin, 66-60. Brown scored seven of his team's nine points during this pivotal stretch.
The Mountaineers never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
This contest marked the 181st meeting between the two rivals...Pittsburgh shot 44.1 percent and outrebounded the Mountaineers, 40-28, including an 18-8 edge on the offensive glass...Brown finished with nine points...The Panthers held a 42-24 edge on points in the paint...West Virginia held a 34-11 edge in bench points.
- PITTSBURGH: 71
WEST VIRGINIA: 66
Feb 7 9:08 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 23
WEST VIRGINIA: 25
Feb 7 7:49 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
WEST VIRGINIA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 7 7:03 PM
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