No. 3 Pitt remains undefeated, 79-66
PITTSBURGH — DeJuan Blair makes sure that what would be an off night for many teams never becomes one for Pittsburgh.
Blair took control inside with 21 points and 16 rebounds, Sam Young and Tyrell Biggs scored 14 points each and No. 3 Pittsburgh came out strong in each half to stay undefeated with a 79-66 victory over Siena last night.
The Panthers are 11-0 for the second straight season and the third time in the last four. They twice led by 11 points in the first half before starting the second half with a 16-3 run that stretched their lead to 53-32.
The Saints (5-4) had won three straight with most of the players who helped them upset Vanderbilt in last season's NCAA tournament, but they didn't get closer than five points after the opening few minutes. The 13-point margin of victory matched Pitt's smallest this season.
The Saints never found a way to slow Blair, who is undersized for a top-tier center at 6 feet 7 but was the nation's leading offensive rebounder coming in with a 5.9 average. As usual, he was strong at the offensive end with eight rebounds and missed only four of 14 shots.
"I just go after them," said Blair, who averages 10 rebounds. "I'm just going to keep working, keep grabbing rebounds. I don't think nothing's going to stop me from doing that."
As competitive as the Big East is with a record eight teams in the Top 25, Siena coach Fran McCaffery will be surprised if many players in that conference can stop Blair.
"He's one of the best post players I've seen in college basketball," McCaffery said. "He hurts you in so many ways."
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said Blair's rebounding "is a gift. He's got a knack. ... You can coach guys all day long and they won't rebound the way he rebounds."
No. 6 Duke 99, UNC Asheville 56: Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler both scored 14 points after being benched at the start, and the Blue Devils (9-1) raced to a 27-8 lead and never looked back in rolling past the Bulldogs (4-6) at Durham, N.C., for their 65th consecutive nonconference victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
No. 11 Syracuse 82, Canisius 60: Rick Jackson scored 14 points, Paul Harris added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and the Orange (10-1) rebounded from their first loss of the season with a rout of the Golden Griffins (3-7) at Syracuse, N.Y.
No. 14 UCLA 75, Loyola Marymount 44: Reserve Michael Roll scored 12 points, hitting four of his team's season-high 11 3-pointers, as the Bruins (7-2) easily won in Los Angeles. The Lions (0-11) are off to their worst start since 1979-80 when they lost their first 20 games.
No. 17 Ohio State 81, Jacksonville 68: David Lighty had 21 points and the Buckeyes saw their 17-point lead cut to five with 5 minutes left before turning back the Dolphins (2-6) at Columbus, Ohio.
No. 19 Michigan State 79, The Citadel 65: Raymar Morgan had 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Spartans (7-2) raced to a 37-19 lead, then survived a 3-point barrage by the Bulldogs (5-6) at East Lansing, Mich.
No. 23 Memphis 59, Ark.-Little Rock 51: Robert Dozier scored 15 points and Shawn Taggart and Tyreke Evans both added 12 as the Tigers (6-2) saw their 18-point lead trimmed to five with less than 2 minutes left, before holding off the Trojans (7-3) at Memphis, Tenn.
New Mexico State 88, Prairie View A&M 74: Sophomore forward Wendell McKines had 19 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double, leading the Aggies (5-4) past the Panthers (3-7) at Las Cruses, N.M.
Utah State 72, Southern Utah 65: Jared Quayle scored 23 points, including five free throws in the final 20 seconds, as the visiting Aggies (7-1) held off the Thunderbirds (3-7) at Cedar City, Utah.
Nevada 87, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 58: Brandon Fields scored a game-high 21 points, and the Wolf Pack (6-4) opened up a 37-25 halftime lead in rolling past the Golden Lions (1-8) at Reno, Nev.
IDAHO 81, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 68: Mac Hopson scored 18 points, Kashif Watson added 15 and three other Vandals (5-5) finished in double-figure scoring in a win over the Bulldogs (5-5) at Moscow, Idaho.
DIVISION II MEN
DRURY (MO.) 75, CHAMINADE 73: Chris Ijames scored 23 points, including a layup for a 74-73 lead with 9 seconds left, and Quinton Branch made one of two free throws with one second to play as Panthers (7-2) beat the Silverswords (1-5) Tuesday night in the Hoop 'N Surf Tournament at McKinley's gym. Mohamad Tangara scored 17 points to lead four teammates in double figures for Chaminade.
DIVISION II WOMEN
BYU-HAWAI'I 61, MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS 52: Latoya Wily had 25 points and a tournament-record-tying 20 rebounds to lead the Seasiders (3-4) past the Tritons (3-7) in the Hoop 'N Surf Tournament at Kilauea District Park Gym. BYUH trailed 35-32 early in the second half before a 12-0 run put the Seasiders ahead for good.
ROCKHURST (Kan.) 88, CHAMINADE 33: Tori Hartin scored 14 points and the Hawks (4-6) opened up a 49-17 halftime lead and were never threatened in cruising past the Lady Swords (0-5) in the Hoop 'N Surf Tournament at Kilauea District Park Gym. Ayla Mull scored 14 points to lead Chaminade.