Monday, January 22, 2007

Marquette marches on, drops Panthers at Pitt

Recaps of Sunday's Top 25 games

Marquette 77 Pittsburgh 74 OT - Proving yet again that anything is possible in the Big East, #24 Marquette traveled to Pittsburgh on Sunday and upset the #6 Panthers, ending Pitt's unbeaten streak in the conference at five.

The win was the 4th straight Big East win for the Golden Eagles - after dropping their first two, to Providence and Syracuse - and third over a ranked opponent. Marquette won at Connecticut, 73-69 on Jan. 10 and then beat West Virginia, 81-63, at home.

Marquette is now tied with Notre Dame and Syracuse at 4-2, one game back of the 5-1 Panthers.

Sparkplug point guard Dominic James ignited the Golden Eagles with 23 points, including 7-8 free throws, many of them crucial down the stretch in regulation. Marquette led by as many as 11 in the second half, but could not keep the Panthers from tying the game late. Pitts' star center, Aaron Gray was somewhat contained, scoring just 16 points in 35 minutes.

Virginia Tech 67 Maryland 64 - Virginia Tech needed to get back on the winning track, and they did so, even though it took an extra five minutes on the court. The Hokies followed up wins against Duke and North Carolina with a flop at Florida State, dropping an 82-73 decision to the Seminoles on Wednesday.

The Hokies were pressed into overtime by the feisty Maryland Terrapins, probably the best team in the nation with a 1-4 conference record. The game was certainly not a beauty contest, as both teams shot less than 40%, but once again, senior guard Zabian Dowdell turned in a solid effort, hitting 8-13 from the floor for 19 points.

Notre Dame 82 South Florida 58 - The #20 Fighting Irish were comfortable on their home court, where they have lost just once this season, and made quick work of the 10-10 (1-5, conference) Bulls. Rob Kurz had 21 points and 10 boards in 30 minutes and Colin Falls connected for 3 treys in his 14-point effort.

The Irish built a 42-26 lead at halftime and cruised from there. The Irish play Tuesday at St. John's.

The only Top 25 team in action on Monday is #12 Oklahoma State, hosting in-state rival Oklahoma for their annual bedlam event.

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