Final - OT
  for this game

Gray, Panthers look to remain undefeated in Big East play

Jan 21, 2007 - 2:52 PM Marquette (16-4) at No. 6 Pittsburgh (17-2) 3:00 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Led by one of the nation's premier big men, Pittsburgh aims for its best conference start since joining the Big East Conference 25 years ago.

After winning their first five conference games, the sixth-ranked Panthers hope to remain undefeated in the league when they host Marquette on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh (17-2, 5-0 Big East) handled heated rival Connecticut, 63-54. Center Aaron Gray dominated the paint for the Panthers, collecting 22 points and a season-high 19 rebounds.

Ronald Ramon scored 17 points off the bench for Pittsburgh, which will shoot for its first 6-0 conference start in school history.

However, the Panthers may have to reach the milestone without a fully healthy Gray, who has missed two practices with a nagging wrist injury but is expected to play Sunday.

With Gray nursing the ailment, Pittsburgh may have to lean on its suddenly deadly perimeter game. Winners of seven straight games, Pittsburgh has transformed into the best 3-point shooting team in the Big East, leading the conference with 40 percent shooting from the arc.

After dropping two straight conference games, the Golden Eagles (16-4, 3-2) have recovered with three consecutive wins.

Marquette has not played since Monday's 74-65 triumph over Louisville.

Dominic James scored 18 points to pace the Golden Eagles, who dropped a 77-71 decision to the Panthers when the schools met last season.