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February 22, 2004

Vicarious Recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 12:39 pm

I’m still hoping John and Pat recount their experiences at the game (assuming they didn’t just sell their tickets for a tidy profit), but I’ll do the round-up of media coverage. Straight facts in the form of box score and game log are here (PDF).

The game was never out of reach for WVU, but it was still a Pitt victory. They led by four with about 8 minutes in the first half, but managed only 5 more points in the half, and Pitt ran off 17 to take a 38-30 lead into the half. Pitt shot well from the perimeter, 4-6 from 3-point land, and this was good since Taft who looked to dominate, picked up 2 fouls in the first few minutes (while scoring 6 points) and then a third with almost 6 minutes left in the half. It limited Taft to only 7 minutes in the half. Pitt shot very, very well in the first half — better than 60%.

The second half came, and Pitt built a 49-35 lead in the first 7 minutes of the second half. Then WVU really started to claw and fight its way back into the game. Johannes Herber who had only 4 rebounds in the first half grabbed 10 in the second half– 8 came off the offensive glass to help give them lots of second chance points. WVU outshot Pitt took 35 shots compared to 19 for Pitt in the second half. They were within 3 with just under 3 minutes to go. Krauser though, knifed through the WVU defense for a pretty layup that was shown during game updates and halftime highlights and then on Sportscenter. WVU couldn’t buy a bucket after that. They shot 1-6 the rest of the way. In the final minute, they fouled Pitt 4 times to no avail.

As I said last night, this was a game Pitt could have lost and I would not have been surprised. Disappointed, annoyed and frustrated, but not surprised. WVU had the home court, a big emotional crowd, and were playing to get a seat at the big dance.

Some are ready to say that Pitt has to get to the final four this year. Maybe.

Page had another good game. Maybe he is finally getting healthy. He shot 6-8 for 15, so the only complaint might be that he didn’t get enough touches. Krauser was only 4-11 for 13, but he did have 7 assists. Troutman had a great game at both ends with 3 blocks, 7 rebounds and 15 points — 7 of which came from the free throw line. Taft in only 14 minutes had 10 points and 6 rebounds. Arguably, his early foul trouble kept Pitt from really blowing the game out early. Just your typical team effort from Pitt.

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