Pitt has yet to play a Top 25 opponent

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Carl Krauser is turning what traditionally is
Pittsburgh's most glaring weakness into one of its greatest

Krauser's outside shooting and career-high 31 points helped the Panthers (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) hold off Richmond 69-60 on Thursday night, the
first game between the schools in 66 years.

With shooting guard Antonio Graves out with a sprained ankle,
Krauser -- Pitt's point guard -- was more aggressive than usual in
looking for the outside shot and scored 18 points in the second

"You realize as a point guard that sometimes you've got to take
over a game, and that's what I intended to do," Krauser said. "I
wanted to give a big lift to my team."

Chris Taft added 11 points and freshman Ronald Ramon, who
started for Graves, had 10 to help the Panthers start 9-0 for the
third consecutive season and the second in as many seasons under
coach Jamie Dixon.

Pitt has yet to play a Top 25 opponent and isn't scheduled to
meet one until facing No. 11 Connecticut on Jan. 22. The Panthers
are 42-1 at home since the Petersen Events Center opened two years
ago and have won 24 consecutive non-conference games.

Krauser became the first Pitt player to score more than 30
points at the Petersen Center and matched the arena record of 31 by
Notre Dame's Matt Carroll in January 2003.

"He's one of the top five or six point guards in the country,"
Richmond coach Jerry Wainwright said. "And that's what those guys
do. It wasn't a prima donna 30-point game, either, it was a
blue-collar game. He left a lot of skin on the floor, going for
loose balls."

Krauser came into the game averaging 14.5 points, with only one
game of more than 20 points. He scored 12 points during a 17-6 run
that boosted Pitt's lead to 56-44 with 9:24 to go -- including six
during an 8-0 Pitt run that lasted only 33 seconds.

Krauser hit 3s on consecutive possessions and was fouled on the
second. He missed the free throw, but Chevon Troutman scored off
the rebound to put Pitt up 47-38.

Richmond (4-4), trying for its fourth road upset of a Top 25
team in three seasons under Wainwright, closed to 62-58 with just
over 3 minutes remaining.

But Krauser made four free throws and Ramon added two down the
stretch to hold off the Spiders, who opened their season by
upsetting another Big East opponent, Seton Hall, on Nov. 19.

Krauser went 6-of-8 from 3-point range as Pitt -- a terrible
outside shooting team last season even while going 31-5 -- made nine
of 18 from beyond the arc. Richmond was 7-of-15.

"We were running a lot of plays for him and he had a lot of
opportunities for shots," Taft said. "We all know he can hit that
shot if they leave him open and it was almost like they didn't
respect his outside shooting. He kept hitting them and we kept
running plays for him."

Last season, Pitt finished 320th among the 326 Division I teams
in 3-point shooting and didn't score 60 points in its last four
tournament games, including all three NCAA games.

"I worked on my shot all summer," Krauser said. "I've got the
ability to do a lot of things, and when I see open shots, I knew I
had to knock them down."

Jermaine Bucknor scored 13 points, Patrick O'Malley and Kevin
Steenberge each had 12 and T.J. Paterick scored 10 for Richmond,
which was outrebounded 40-29 in dropping its third in four games.

Krauser, a junior, set a career scoring high for the second time
in three games, following up his 28 points in an 84-71 victory at
Penn State on Dec. 11.

The teams hadn't played since a 47-24 Pittsburgh victory during
the 1938-39 season.