No. 15 ranked Pitt defeats No. 19 ranked WV

Aaron Gray records double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Panthers over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Pitt moves on to the semi-finals to take on the Villanova Wildcats.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Freshman Sam Young, making his first start of the season, had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 15 Pittsburgh to a 68-57 victory over No. 19 West Virginia on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

The sixth-seeded Panthers (23-6) will face No. 2 Villanova (25-3), which beat Rutgers 87-55, in the semifinals on Friday night. The Wildcats were the only one of the top four seeds to advance to the semifinals.

Top-ranked Connecticut lost 86-82 to ninth-seeded Syracuse in overtime and fifth-seeded Georgetown beat fourth-seeded Marquette 62-59, meaning three of the four teams that received first-round byes lost in the quarterfinals.

Young, a 6-foot-6 forward who came in averaging 7.7 points and 4.2 rebounds, started in place of junior forward Levon Kendall, who missed the game because of lower back spasms. Young finished 7-for-8 from the field and blocked two shots for the Panthers, who beat Louisville 61-56 in the opening round.

Aaron Gray had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Pittsburgh, while Carl Krauser had 10 points, six assists and six rebounds.

Kevin Pittsnogle had 22 points for the third-seeded Mountaineers (20-10), while Mike Gansey had 10 points despite missing the final 10 minutes of the games because of an abdominal muscle strain.

West Virginia took a 31-24 halftime lead as the Panthers struggled against the Mountaineers' 1-3-1 zone. Pittsburgh did a better job of attacking the zone in the second half and Young scored on an offensive rebound to tie the game at 38 with 14:11 to play.

That was the first of four ties the rest of the way and there were five lead changes. Pittsburgh took the lead for good at 51-49 on a drive by freshman Levance Fields, who finished with 10 points, with 6:41 to go.

Pittsnogle, who was 5-for-11 from 3-point range, hit a 3 with 1:35 to go to bring West Virginia within 57-54. Krauser made two free throws with 1:21 left for a five-point lead and Patrick Beilein's 3, his only points of the game, got the Mountaineers within 59-57 with 1:09 left. Pittsburgh then closed the game with a 9-0 run, the first seven points on free throws and the last two on a dunk by Gray with 8 seconds left.

West Virginia, which had lost six of nine overall, won three games in this tournament last season before losing to Syracuse in the championship game.

This was 171st meeting between the schools -- they split two in the regular season -- which are 77 miles apart and West Virginia leads the series 92-79. It was their first postseason meeting since Pittsburgh beat the Mountaineers 79-72 in the Eastern 8 championship game in 1982.


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