(24) West Virginia 57

(9-3, 1-0 Big East)

South Florida 53

(6-8, 0-1 Big East)

    7:00 PM ET, January 5, 2006

    USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida

    1 2 T
    #24WVU 25 3257
    USF 22 3153

    Top Performers

    West Virginia: M. Gansey 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

    South Florida: S. Jones 18 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Blk

    West Virginia squeaks past South Florida by four

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- West Virginia's not giving back any Big East road win.

    Mike Gansey scored 18 points and Kevin Pittsnogle had 16 to lead the 24th-ranked Mountaineers to a 57-53 victory over South Florida on Thursday night in the Bulls' conference debut.

    "We didn't play too well," Pittsnogle said. "We still were able to stick around and get the win. We knew it was going to be tough. Anytime you play on the road in the Big East, it's a tough game no matter who they are."

    The win was the seventh straight for West Virginia (9-3, 1-0), which plays at No. 3 Villanova on Sunday. The Mountaineers were outrebounded 42-22.

    "It wasn't, certainly, a textbook game of basketball," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "This is the type of league ... it's going to be so hard to win on the road. I thought South Florida just had a great game plan, and really made it difficult for us to do anything."

    Solomon Jones had 18 points for South Florida (6-8), one of five schools that moved to the Big East from Conference USA. The injury-depleted Bulls have lost three straight and five of six and are down to six healthy scholarship players.

    "It's disappointing ... we thought we had a chance to win," South Florida guard Chris Capko said. "We were in it and just didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities we had."

    South Florida, the only Big East team with a losing record, had 21 turnovers, compared to five for West Virginia.

    "It's certainly a game, a performance, an effort that we can build on," South Florida coach Robert McCullum said. "We can only keep it close so many times. It's going to get to the point where you've got to win some of those."

    J.D. Collins missed two free throws with 1:18 left that could have extended West Virginia's 55-53 lead. After Jones missed a jumper with the shot clock winding down, South Florida committed four fouls in order to put the Mountaineers on the free throw line.

    Pittsnogle hit two free throws with 20 seconds to go, making it 57-53. South Florida's James Holmes missed a 3-point try with 4 seconds remaining.

    "It's a loss," Jones said. "You don't feel good about losing. I don't feel good at all right now, but I just can't keep my head down. I've got to look up and look towards the game we've got Sunday."

    Baskets by Johannes Herber and Patrick Beilein gave West Virginia a 55-46 lead with 4 minutes to play. South Florida then scored the next seven points with Melvin Buckley's jumper cutting the Bulls' deficit to 55-53 with 2 minutes to go.

    Buckley finished with 16 points,

    Beilein hit a 3 -- giving him a school-record 201 for his career -- to put West Virginia ahead 43-36 midway through the second half.

    West Virginia trailed 13-7 with 10:50 left in the first half. The Mountaineers scored just three points -- Beilein's 3 -- during an 8½-minute stretch as South Florida took the six-point lead.

    After West Virginia went on an 11-0 run, Jones had two baskets as South Florida closed the half on 6-0 run to get within 25-22.

    A moment of silence was held before the game to honor the coal miners who died this week in West Virginia.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 57 53
    FG Made-Attempted 23-56 (.411) 19-47 (.404)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-24 (.250) 5-20 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-8 (.625) 10-13 (.769)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 6

    2005-06 Season

    » Jan 5, 2006 WVU 57, @USF 53Recap