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Men's Top 25 Basketball Roundup

Pitfall for Panthers; Wake KO's Clemson

Levance Fields (2) and Pittsburgh walked off as losers for the first time against Louisville. Levance Fields (2) and Pittsburgh walked off as losers for the first time against Louisville. (Ed Reinke/Associated Press)
Associated Press / January 18, 2009
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No. 1 Pittsburgh's perfect run is over.

Earl Clark had 16 points and 11 rebounds on his 21st birthday to lead No. 20 Louisville to a 69-63 victory over the visiting Panthers last night.

Terrence Williams had 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists and the Cardinals (13-3, 4-0 Big East) held the Panthers (16-1, 4-1) to just one field goal over the last eight minutes to win their fifth straight game and stake a claim as the best team in the nation's best conference.

Jermaine Dixon had a career-high 19 points but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:25 remaining and the Panthers trailing by 4.

Clark capped a stirring second-half rally by hitting a jumper from the top of the key with 45 seconds left and Louisville made enough free throws to make it hold up.

The Cardinals won their fifth straight and are starting to play like the team ranked No. 3 in the preseason poll.

"We made great plays," said coach Rick Pitino. "This is the fourth game in a row right now where we did really smart things down the stretch."

The Panthers had risen to No. 1 in the Associated Press rankings for the first time behind 16 straight dominant but largely anonymous wins. Pittsburgh missed a chance to add a little quality to its quantity thanks to a nightmarish final 8:48 when a 55-45 lead evaporated.

Williams started Louisville's game-ending surge with a pull-up jumper and Clark followed with a shot from the corner. Preston Knowles drilled a 3-pointer before Clark dunked on the break to pull the Cardinals within 55-54 with 6:25 left.

Louisville finally pulled even at 58 on a jam by Samardo Samuels and Louisville went ahead for good on a layup by Williams with 2:53 to go that made it 60-58.

"This game will help," said Pittsburgh point guard Levance Fields. "Nobody wants to lose, but it's always good to get a loss on yourself so you know you're not unbeaten - so you know somebody can beat you."

Wake Forest 78, Clemson 68 - Jeff Teague scored 24 points and the No. 2 Demon Deacons set a school record with a 16-0 start, handing the host No. 10 Tigers their first loss of the season.

Wake Forest (3-0 Atlantic Coast) looked like it had this one in hand, leading, 58-44, after L.D. Williams's 3-pointer with 9:32 left.

However, the Tigers (16-1, 2-1) used a 16-3 run over the next five minutes to pull within 61-60. Teague rushed the ball up court on Wake's next possession, finding a sprinting Al-Farouq Aminu for a dunk. James Johnson followed with a free throw and two baskets and the Demon Deacons were on their way to surpassing the school mark for best start since 1926-27. They are the only unbeaten team left in Division 1.

Terrence Oglesby and K.C. Rivers each had 15 points for Clemson, which fell a win short of tying its best start, established in 1986-87 and matched two years ago.

Duke 76, Georgetown 67 - Gerald Henderson scored 23 points and the No. 3 Blue Devils held on to beat the No. 13 Hoyas in Durham, N.C., for their eighth straight victory.

Kyle Singler added 15 points and 16 rebounds and Jon Scheyer had 11 points for Duke (16-1). The Blue Devils shot 48.6 percent in winning their Division 1-best 68th straight nonconference game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

DaJuan Summers scored 21 points in his 17th straight double-figure game and Austin Freeman added 15 for the Hoyas (12-4).

Syracuse 93, Notre Dame 74 - Arinze Onuaku matched his season high with 19 points, Paul Harris added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the No. 8 Orange knocked off the No. 12 Fighting Irish at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse (17-2, 5-1 Big East), coming off a loss at Georgetown that stopped a seven-game winning streak, snapped a three-game losing streak against Notre Dame (12-5, 3-3).

Big East scoring leader Luke Harangody had 25 points and 16 rebounds, his 10th straight 20-point game and seventh consecutive double-double to lead the Irish, but he made just 9 of 28 shots. Kyle McAlarney (24 points) hit seven 3-pointers.

Arizona St. 61, UCLA 58 - In Los Angeles, James Harden scored 24 points, Jeff Pendergraph added 18, and the No. 16 Sun Devils rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to beat the No. 9 Bruins in overtime, snapping UCLA's 10-game winning streak.

The Sun Devils (15-3, 4-2 Pac-10) split their trip to Los Angeles, having lost, 61-49, at Southern California Thursday night, when Harden was held to a season-low 4 points on 0-for-8 shooting.

Josh Shipp scored 16 points and Darren Collison added 14 for the Bruins (14-3, 4-1), who had their 15-game home winning streak end. They had beaten the Sun Devils eight straight games.

Marquette 91, Providence 82 - Jerel McNeal and Lazar Hayward each scored 25 points, and the No. 14 Golden Eagles (16-2, 5-0 Big East) rallied from 13 down in the second half to beat the host Friars (11-6, 3-2) in a game marred by a fan coming out of the stands to confront a referee.

Geoff McDermott had 15 points and 17 rebounds for Providence, which played most of the second half without Jeff Xavier, who was knocked in the face and dropped to the floor covering his right eye with 17:13 left.

No foul was called, but moments later a fan walked onto the court and went chest-to-chest with one of the referees. Lawrence Lepore, the executive director of the Dunkin' Donuts Center, said Jonathan Xavier - Jeff's brother - jumped over the Providence bench to get onto the court. He was later taken to a Providence police station and will face a disorderly conduct charge.

North Carolina 82, Miami 65 - Wayne Ellington scored all of his 23 points in the second half, helping the fifth-ranked Tar Heels (16-2, 2-2 ACC) breeze past the visiting Hurricanes (13-4, 2-2).

Oklahoma 69, Texas A&M 63 - Austin Johnson had 19 points and Blake Griffin added 16 as the No. 6 Sooners (17-1, 3-0 Big 12) held off a late rally by the host Aggies (15-3, 1-2).

Michigan St. 63, Illinois 57 - Kalin Lucas scored all 10 of his points in the second half and Raymar Morgan made the go-ahead free throws with 4:49 left, lifting the No. 7 Spartans (15-2, 5-0 Big Ten) over the Illini (15-3, 3-2), Michigan State's 11th straight win and 28th in a row at home.

Texas 71, Texas Tech 49 - Damion James scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the No. 11 Longhorns (13-4, 2-1 Big 12) to an easy win over the host Red Raiders (10-7, 0-2).

Butler 59, Ill.-Chicago 52 - Gordon Hayward hit seven 3-pointers and tied his career high with 25 points as the No. 17 Bulldogs (16-1, 7-0 Horizon) erased a 13-point second-half deficit to top the host Flames (9-8, 2-5) for their eighth straight victory.

Baylor 98, Oklahoma St. 92 - Tweety Carter hit two 3-pointers to start overtime and put the No. 21 Bears (14-3, 2-1 Big 12) ahead to stay in a wild win over the visiting Cowboys (12-4, 1-1).

Stanford 75, California 69 - Lawrence Hill matched his career high with 25 points and the Cardinal (12-3, 2-3 Pac-10) spoiled former coach Mike Montgomery's return to Maples Pavilion as the No. 22 Bears (15-3, 4-1) fell to their Bay Area rival.

Tennessee 82, S. Carolina 79 - Tyler Smith scored 20 points and the No. 24 Volunteers (11-5, 2-1 Southeastern) beat the Gamecocks (12-4, 1-2) to avoid their first three-game home losing streak under coach Bruce Pearl.

Ohio St. 65, Michigan 58 - Evan Turner scored 19 points and the Buckeyes (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) spoiled the Wolverines' celebration of their 1988-89 national championship team. Manny Harris scored 21 points for No. 25 Michigan (13-5, 3-3).

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