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Sloppy Panthers put Robert Morris away late

Posted: Wednesday November 26, 2003 9:12PM; Updated: Thursday November 27, 2003 1:14AM
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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Carl Krauser liked scoring 21 points. He didn't like his seven turnovers.

Krauser led No. 22 Pittsburgh to a sluggish 75-61 win over Robert Morris on Wednesday night, but had mixed feelings about his performance.

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"I was glad to do things like hit some 3-pointers and get some steals and layups to help the team win," Krauser said. "There is no excuse for the turnovers, though. I just made too many mistakes. I have to be more consistent."

Jaron Brown added 19 points, but the Panthers weren't able to put the game away until the final two minutes, when they scored six consecutive points to take a 73-58 lead.

Brown started the run by hitting a jumper with 1:35 left, then followed with a layup. Julius Page then made three free throws, the last two with 41 seconds remaining.

"We played well at the end and I was pleased with that," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "We made some big plays when we needed them but we have to be more consistent with our defense."

Robert Morris' defensive intensity gave Pitt problems -- the Panthers had 17 turnovers.

"It wasn't that we weren't ready to play, Robert Morris played tough defense and we made too many mistakes," Brown said.

The Panthers won their 24th straight home game, and are 18-0 since moving into the Petersen Events Center last season. Pitt improved to 24-0 against Robert Morris, and 58-0 against Northeast Conference opponents.

Page added 13 points and five assists for Pitt, which shot 51 percent (28-of-55) from the floor. Chevon Troutman had 11 points and seven rebounds as the Panthers held a 39-24 advantage on the boards.

Robert Morris (0-2) was led by Chaz McCrommon's 18 points. Aaron Thomas added 11.

After Pitt went on an 18-8 run to end the first half and take a 38-29 halftime lead, Robert Morris stayed close. A baseline jumper by Anderson and a 3-point field goal by McCrommon drew the Colonials within five, 49-44, with 12:17 left.

Pitt, though, quickly extended its lead back to 11 points at 55-44 with 10:13 remaining.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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