for this game

Hrycaniuk, Vaughn help Cincinnati topple Pittsburgh

Jan 20, 2008 - 2:45 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Adam Hrycaniuk and Cincinnati went on a big run to help put this one away.

Hrycaniuk scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Bearcats posted a 62-59 Big East Conference victory over No. 16 Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Deonta Vaughn finished with 10 of his 14 points on free throws and Rashad Bishop had 11 for Cincinnati (9-9, 3-2 Big East), which has won three of its last four.

"Today was a big game for us," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "The Panthers are a team who knows how to win Big East championships. It's a huge win for us over a team that really has been a benchmark program in the conference for the last nine years."

After the Panthers used an 18-9 burst at the end of the first half to take a 28-27 advantage at intermission, the Bearcats responded with an impressive second-half spurt to break open a tie game.

"Congratulations to Cincinnati. I thought they played very hard," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "All credit goes to them for a very good job. They are a well coached team."

With the score knotted at 40-40 just over 10 minutes left in the second half, Cincinnati went on a 13-0 burst over the next 3 1/2 minutes that was capped by a jumper by Jamual Warren.

"The crowd was getting involved in the game, and it was easier to play during that run," Hrycaniuk said. "We wanted to do all we could to make them happy."

Hrycaniuk and Bishop each had four points in the run for the Bearcats, who finished 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from the field.

Dixon also noted the double-digit spurt was the key to the game.

"We didn't turn it over, but it was mainly our shot selection," Dixon said. "They made some plays, and we put them at the free-throw line. We thought we had to score too quickly. There were plenty of possessions to get back in the game, but we realized that too late."

Despite their panic, the Panthers put together a 12-4 run capped by a follow shot by freshman Gilbert Brown with 2:43 remaining to cut the lead to 56-52. However, a free throw by Bishop and a layup by Vaughn with 78 seconds remaining gave the Bearcats a seven-point lead.

"We had a lot of contributions," Cronin said. "I was really proud of our guys."

Pittsburgh was not done yet. Keith Benjamin nailed a 3-pointer with 34 ticks to go to cut the deficit to 59-57, but Vaughn hit three attempts from the stripe in the final 18 seconds and Bishop blocked a 3-point attempt with two seconds left to preserve the win.

"Rashad's got a long wingspan," Vaughn said. "He can block a lot of shots from (the arc). He blocked a shot, (Benjamin) tried to get it off again, and luckily it was an airball."

Young had 24 points and nine boards and Benjamin scored 11 for the Panthers (15-3, 3-2), who shot 42 percent (23-of-55) and saw their three-game winning streak end.

"We had trouble in the first half and were only up by one," Young said. "If we play the way we're capable of playing, we're up 10 or 15 and we wouldn't have had this problem."