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Pittsburgh too much for Big East rival Villanova

Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn (22 second-half points) got a lot of attention from Texas’s defense. Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn (22 second-half points) got a lot of attention from Texas’s defense. (Michael Thomas/Associated Press)
Associated Press / February 13, 2011

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TOP 25 ROUNDUP

Brad Wanamaker scored 21 points, Nasir Robinson had 15, and fourth-ranked Pittsburgh escaped with a 57-54 road win over No. 9 Villanova last night in a Big East showdown.

It was a festive homecoming for Wanamaker and Robinson, two local players who shunned the Philadelphia schools and headed to western Pennsylvania.

The Panthers (23-2, 11-1) show no sign of relinquishing their conference lead with six games left. They stormed into Villanova and did what no team had done since Jan. 17, 2007 — beat the Wildcats in their on-campus home.

Antonio Pena tried to win it for the Wildcats (19-6, 7-5) in the final minute. He hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to make it a 3-point game, then forced a turnover on Pitt’s next possession.

Dominic Cheek missed a tying 3-point attempt and the offensive rebound was kicked out to Maalik Wayns. His shot swished through the net — moments after the final buzzer. Officials used replay to confirm Wayns released the shot late, and Pitt walked off the court with a big victory.

Texas 69, Baylor 60 — Freshman Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 13 rebounds and the No. 3 Longhorns (22-3, 10-0) held off a furious rally by LaceDarius Dunn and the visiting Bears to remain undefeated in the Big 12.

Dunn scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half as Baylor (16-8, 6-5) cut an 18-point deficit to 3 in the final two minutes. Texas led, 65-60, when Dunn’s 3-pointer rattled in and out with about 25 seconds left, and the Longhorns’ Gary Johnson made two free throws to put the game away.

Kansas 89, Iowa St. 66 — Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris each had a double-double and keyed a 23-4 first-half run that carried the second-ranked Jayhawks (24-1, 9-1 Big 12) at home.

Marcus had 16 points and 11 rebounds while Markieff had 14 and 11 for his conference-leading ninth double-double.

San Diego St. 63, UNLV 57 — D.J. Gay scored 20 points, Kawhi Leonard had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the No. 6 Aztecs (25-1, 10-1 Mountain West) made 9 of 10 free throw attempts in the final 2:12 to prevail in Las Vegas.

Tre’Von Willis drove for a layup with 3:07 left to give the Rebels (18-7, 6-5) a 55-54 lead, their only one of the second half. After that, UNLV went 0 for 6 from 3-point range.

BYU 72, Utah 59 — Jimmer Fredette scored 23 points, fill-in starter Charles Abouo added 22, and the seventh-ranked Cougars pulled away late from the rival Utes in Provo in their final regular-season meeting as Mountain West Conference foes.

Fredette scored 17 points in the final nine minutes and 12 in a row to help Brigham Young (24-2, 10-1) take control after the game was tied at 48.

Abouo, a junior from the Ivory Coast who entered with a season high of 13 points, scored 17 and grabbed six rebounds in the first half alone. He finished with 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame 78, South Florida 55 — Jack Cooley came off the bench during an early 22-0 run and finished with a career-high 18 points, leading the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish in Tampa.

The victory was the seventh straight for Notre Dame (21-4, 10-3), which has won three straight Big East road games for the first time in 10 years.

Louisville 73, Syracuse 69 — Kyle Kuric scored 23 points, Preston Knowles added 22, and Peyton Siva dropped in the clinching free throws to lead the 16th-ranked Cardinals (19-6, 8-4 Big East) at home.

Brandon Triche led the Orange (20-6, 7-6) with a season-high 21 points and Scoop Jardine had 20 points and four assists, but Syracuse couldn’t quite erase a 20-point second-half deficit to lose for the sixth time in eight games.

Vanderbilt 81, Kentucky 77 — In Nashville, John Jenkins scored a career-high 32 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to lift the 23d-ranked Commodores over the No. 18 Wildcats.

Vanderbilt (18-6, 6-4) swept a three-game homestand that will keep it tied for second in the SEC’s Eastern Division. Kentucky (17-7, 5-5), which got 25 points from Terrence Jones, dropped to 1-5 on the road in the SEC.

Florida 61, Tennessee 60 — Erving Walker hit a driving layup with 14 seconds left as the 17th-ranked Gators overcame a 6-point halftime deficit at home to beat the Volunteers.

Walker finished with 16 points and Kenny Boynton and Vernon Macklin each added 12 for Florida (20-5, 9-2 SEC), which has won four straight and 7 of 8 games. Tennessee (15-10, 5-5) lost its third consecutive game.

Missouri 84, Oklahoma 61 — The 19th-ranked Tigers (19-6, 5-5 Big 12) overwhelmed the visiting Sooners with their bench, getting 16 points from Michael Dixon and 11 from Justin Safford.

Marcus Denmon, Missouri’s leading scorer with a 16.5-point average, was struck in the face under the Oklahoma basket with just under 18 minutes remaining and did not return, finishing with 9 points. He was treated on the bench for several minutes before leaving the court.

North Carolina 64, Clemson 62 — Freshman Harrison Barnes scored 20 points, John Henson had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and the 20th-ranked Tar Heels (18-6, 8-2 ACC) rebounded from their loss to Duke by beating the host Tigers (17-8, 6-5).

Utah St. 71, Fresno St. 55 — The No. 21 Aggies (23-3, 12-1 WAC) placed four players in double figures, led by Nate Bendall’s 13 points, to overpower the visiting Bulldogs (11-14, 5-8).

Texas A&M 70, Texas Tech 67 — At Lubbock, Texas, Khris Middleton scored 16 points as the 22d-ranked Aggies (19-5, 6-4 Big 12) handed the Red Raiders (11-14, 3-7) their third straight loss.

Temple 75, Dayton 63 — Ramone Moore scored 26 points as the 24th-ranked Owls (19-5, 9-2 Atlantic 10) won their sixth in a row, beating the host Flyers (17-9, 5-6) despite missing top rebounder Lavoy Allen (ankle).

West Virginia 82, DePaul 71 — John Flowers led a balanced offense with 15 points and the 25th-ranked Mountaineers (16-8, 7-5 Big East) never trailed in beating the visiting Blue Demons (6-19, 0-12).