Pitt, Blair roll over Oklahoma StateDec 15, 2007 - 8:07 PM By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Another December, another 10-0 start for Pittsburgh.
Freshman DeJuan Blair enjoyed a big afternoon as the ninth-ranked Panthers won their 10th consecutive game to open a season for a fifth straight season with an 85-68 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Blair collected 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high five blocks for the Panthers, who have won 27 straight games against non-Big East Conference foes at home.
"We shot it really well, and on defense we did some things very well," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "We contested a lot of their shots, and I thought we did a very good job with executing our game plan of what we needed to do."
Blair, who went to high school a few blocks from the Petersen Events Center, shot 8-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line in matching his career high for points. It was the 6-7, 265-pounder's fourth double-double of the season.
"He loves contact," Oklahoma State junior Terrel Harris said of Blair. "He gets in there, gets rebounds by banging around and pushing people around. ... He's a very aggressive player with athleticism and strength."
Levance Fields added 17 points and six assists for Pittsburgh.
Marcus Dove scored 17 points and Harris 16 and nine rebounds for the Cowboys (5-4), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Pittsburgh, which lost in double-overtime to the Cowboys last season in Oklahoma City, shot 55 percent (27-of-49). The Panthers shot a scorching 68 percent (17-of-25) in the first half.
"Everybody's sharing the ball," Fields said. "We like playing with one another, and if we see somebody open, we pass it. Right now, the guys are doing a good job knocking down shots. We shot 55 percent. When you shoot a high percentage like that, it's usually a good day for you."
Pittsburgh closed out the first half on a 20-5 run to lead 49-31 at the break and appeared poised for another home blowout. The Panthers won their first seven home games by an average of 30.3 points.
"They've got an outstanding team," Cowboys coach Sean Sutton said. "We have a great appreciation for how tough they are defensively and the intensity they play with. You don't get anything easy against them.
"I thought we were really playing well when we had them at 29-26, but the whole key to the game was that 20-5 run to end the first half."
Oklahoma State used a 16-5 run to open the second half to climb back into the game.
Fields' 3-pointer with 11 minutes to play, however, ignited a decisive run for the Panthers.
"We had a little layoff there, but we came back hard," Blair said. "That's something about this team; we don't put our heads down and let something get us down. We keep going."
The Cowboys were playing without suspended center Martavius Adams and had leading scorer James Anderson - a freshman who had been averaging 20.8 points - limited to only nine points on 3-of-14 shooting.
"We knew he liked to catch and shoot; we knew he liked to catch the ball, jab step, and shoot," Young said. "We had god pressure on him. We had a lot of guys switching off him, and we all did a good job on him."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
OKLAHOMA ST 31 37 68
PITTSBURGH (9) 49 36 85 FINAL
Dec 15 1:56 PM
- NCAA BB
OKLAHOMA ST 31
(9) PITTSBURGH 49 HALFTIME
Dec 15 12:48 PM
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