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Pittsburgh vs Marquette

Balanced scoring, defense help No. 19 Pittsburgh win at Marquette

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- It was a sure sign that No. 19 Pittsburgh was about to take control: Dante Taylor throwing down his third uncontested dunk in the space of a little more than two minutes.

A freshman who has played sparingly in recent weeks, Taylor's brief scoring burst played a pivotal role in a 14-5 run that helped the Panthers take the lead early in the second half, then hold on for a 58-51 victory against Marquette on Thursday night.

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"I think it was good for our guys," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon said. "They know how hard Dante is working. When guys make big plays and don't play as much as the other guys, it really, I think, brings energy to a team."

The Panthers (20-6, 9-4 Big East) also got strong inside play from center Gary McGhee, who had 10 points and a career-high six blocks against an athletic but undersized Marquette team.

"They just absolutely annihilated us inside," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said.

Nasir Robinson, Brad Wanamaker and Jermaine Dixon added 10 points each for the Panthers, who ran their winning streak to four games coming off a triple-overtime victory against No. 8 West Virginia.

Jimmy Butler scored 14 points for the Golden Eagles (16-9, 7-6), who had won five straight, launching a surprise bid to return to the NCAA tournament in what was widely expected to be a rebuilding season.

"It would have been a good one for us, but we know exactly why we lost," Lazar Hayward said.

Pitt held Hayward, Marquette's leading scorer, to 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

"He's one of the best players in the league, and one of the toughest players," Jamie Dixon said. "We were fortunate. But we did make him take tough shots, I think that was key."

Hayward came into the game averaging 19.4 points and 10.4 rebounds during the Golden Eagles' five-game winning streak, including three double-doubles.

Hayward said he needed to do a better job of getting his teammates involved on a night when the Golden Eagles got away from their winning formula.

"We weren't playing together, we weren't creating for each other and we weren't playing team defense," Hayward said.

Darius Johnson-Odom added 13 points for Marquette.

The Golden Eagles, who entered the game second in the nation in 3-point shooting at 42.3 percent, were held to 5 of 19 from 3-point range. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, came in as the Big East's best defensive team on the perimeter, holding opponents to 30.3 percent from 3-point range.

"For the most part, we did a pretty good job," Jamie Dixon said. "They didn't get many open looks."

The Panthers won despite an off night from leading scorer Ashton Gibbs, who had two points and missed all six of his field goal attempts.

Trailing by six points at halftime, Marquette grabbed momentum to start the second half with a steal and fastbreak dunk by Johnson-Odom, a 3-pointer by Johnson-Odom and a putback by Butler.

The Golden Eagles took a 34-33 lead on a driving layup by Butler, but the Panthers went on a 14-5 run from there -- including the three dunks by Taylor -- as Marquette's interior defense fell apart.

Robinson scored inside, giving the Panthers a 47-39 lead with 9:24 remaining.

The Golden Eagles rallied to cut the lead to five, but Robinson hit a 3-pointer and Wanamaker made a jumper to give the Panthers a 10-point lead with 5:42 left.

Marquette later cut the lead to five points on a three-point play by Hayward with 2:16 left. Wanamaker lost the ball out of bounds with 1:13 left, but Maurice Acker missed a 3-point try that could have cut the lead to two.

David Cubillan missed another 3-point attempt, leaving Williams hollering for a loose-ball foul. The Golden Eagles allowed a long inbounds pass for a breakaway slam by Dixon, putting the Panthers up 58-51 with 45 seconds left.

McGhee said the Panthers made the most of their pronounced size advantage.

"It really did help," McGhee said. "It got us a bunch of easy shots. On the defensive end, we had a lot of big bodies standing up straight and making them shoot over us. We did a good job on both ends of the floor."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Nasir Robinson, one of four Panthers to score 10 points, reacts after scoring in the second half.  (AP)
Nasir Robinson, one of four Panthers to score 10 points, reacts after scoring in the second half. (AP)
Scoreboard
Pittsburgh #19 (20-6) «312758
Marquette (16-9)252651
PITT:Jermaine Dixon 10 Pts
PITT:Jermaine Dixon 7 Reb
PITT:Gilbert Brown 5 Ast
MARQET:Jimmy Butler 14 Pts
MARQET:Jimmy Butler 7 Reb
MARQET:Maurice Acker 4 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
MarquettePittsburgh
MARQET
Jimmy Butler
PITT
Nasir Robinson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
14721064
Pittsburgh Panthers
B. Wanamaker, G354-52-244310
J. Dixon, G334-100-072010
A. Gibbs, G310-62-23102
G. McGhee, C295-50-051310
N. Robinson, F224-61-264110
G. Brown, G-F231-43-52545
T. Woodall, G172-30-11115
D. Taylor, F83-30-01126
J. Richardson, F-C20-00-01000
C. Adams, GDid Not Play
T. Frye, GDid Not Play
D. Miller, FDid Not Play
L. Patterson, G-FDid Not Play
N. Rivers, GDid Not Play
T. Zanna, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-428-1230191458
 54.8%66.7% 
Marquette Golden Eagles
J. Butler, G-F376-112-672114
L. Hayward, F364-171-161311
D. Johnson-Odom, G365-121-161213
M. Acker, G292-70-05445
D. Cubillan, G291-50-02132
D. Buycks, G263-70-11016
J. Fulce, F50-10-01020
E. Williams, F20-00-00000
J. Cadougan, GDid Not Play
R. Frozena, GDid Not Play
J. Maymon, G-FDid Not Play
Y. Mbao, CDid Not Play
C. Otule, CDid Not Play
Totals 21-604-92891651
 35.0%44.4% 
ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Notre Dame1-012-1102
N.C. State1-010-360
Virginia0-011-04
Duke0-010-05
Louisville0-011-116
Miami (Fla.)0-09-379
N. Carolina0-09-314
Pittsburgh0-09-378
Georgia Tech0-08-344
Va. Tech0-08-4258
Clemson0-07-4157
Syracuse0-07-483
Boston College0-06-4165
Florida St.0-17-5180
Wake Forest0-16-6201

Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Villanova0-012-07
St. Johns0-010-132
Seton Hall0-010-219
Providence0-010-329
Butler0-09-345
Georgetown0-08-359
Xavier0-08-369
Creighton0-09-4127
Marquette0-07-494
DePaul0-06-7272
 
Other games
Syracuse 75 Final
GU 71
VAN 82 Final
Ole Miss 78
Wisc 52 Final
Minn 68
GONZ 66 Final
LMU 74