College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, January 28, 2012
It is the thing many strive for but few seldom achieve.
In Pittsburgh's 72-60 upset win over Georgetown, senior forward Nasir Robinson came within one free throw of what some may consider a "perfect" game of hoops. Robinson led the Panthers with 23 points and 8 rebounds, on 9-for-9 shooting and a 5-for-6 effort from the foul line to help Pitt win their second straight Big East contest after a string of eight straight losses had pretty much demoralized the squad and severely limited their prospects of reaching the NCAA tournament.
After beating Providence, 86-74, on Wednesday, the Panthers were in perfect position to spring the upset, at home against the #9 Hoyas and Robinson and his floor mates pulled it off with a combination of contesting defense, hard rebounding and opportunistic scoring, limiting the Hoyas to 42% shooting, while they shot 52% from the field and made 19 of 22 free throws.
The Panthers also dominated the boards, out-rebounding Georgetown, 35-23. They also had 20 assists, 10 coming from Tray Woodall, who had missed 11 games from early December to mid-January, and whose presence on the perimeter was a major factor contributing to Pittsburgh's losing streak. Lamar Patterson chipped in with 18 points and seven assists.
Pittsburgh improved to 13-9, but they are just 2-7 in the Big East. Georgetown dropped to 6-3 in conference play and are 16-4 overall.
NOTABLE: Pitt was not the only team to stun a Top 25 team on a Saturday full of ranked teams in action. Oklahoma knocked off #22 Kansas State, 63-60, but Iowa State pulled off the Big 12 shocker of the day, using home court and a raucous crowd to drop #5 Kansas, 72-64.
#13 San Diego State also fell victim to road blues, getting thumped at Colorado State, 77-60.
Elsewhere, #1 Kentucky dominated LSU with a 74-50 road win and #3 Syracuse held on for a 63-61 home win over West Virginia, aided by a controversial missed call in the final seconds of play.
#11 Murray State Racers remained the only team in Division 1 without a loss, improving to 21-0 with a 73-58 win over Eastern Illinois.
Finally, at the other end of the college hoops spectrum, Towson ended the longest losing streak in NCAA history at 41 straight with a 66-61 win over Colonial Athletic Conference rival, UNC Wilmington. It was the highest point total this season for the 1-22 Tigers and their first win since a road win over La Salle on Dec. 29, 2010.