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Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2004 11:16 PM EST
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(7) Pittsburgh 69, Richmond 60

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Carl Krauser ended any thoughts Richmond had of springing its annual upset of a ranked team.

Krauser drilled three 3-pointers and a jumper in a pivotal second-half run and finished with a career-high 31 points to lead seventh-ranked Pittsburgh to a 69-60 victory over Richmond in the first meeting between the schools in 66 years.

The win was the 24th straight for the Panthers (9-0) against non-conference opponents and improved their record at the Petersen Events Center to 42-1. They are 9-0 for the third consecutive season, the last two under coach Jamie Dixon.

Richmond (4-4) was hoping to knock off a ranked team for the fourth straight season. Last January, the Spiders won at then-10th-ranked Kansas, 69-68. The previous two seasons they beat two top 25 teams - Stanford in 2002 and Xavier in 2003.

"They're used to beating people," Dixon said of Richmond. "They have played and beat a lot of tough opponents, so our guys knew we would be in a battle tonight. We know they were an NCAA Tournament team in our regional last year."

This season, Richmond lost its first chance to beat a ranked team, falling at No. 1 Wake Forest, 90-73, on December 4.

The Spiders were much tougher against Pittsburgh, pulling within 39-38 on a 3-pointer by T.J. Paterick with 14:25 left.

But Krauser took over from there, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a decisive 18-6 run. The junior guard added his sixth 3-pointer of the night with 10:23 left and capped the spurt with a corner jumper, giving the Panthers their biggest lead at 57-44 with 9:19 remaining.

"Carl stepped up and hit a bunch of big shots in the second half," Dixon said. "Carl got in the right spot after we beat their zone (defense). They were good looks."

Krauser actually made 6-of-8 from the arc and added seven rebounds and five assists.

"Sometimes it goes back to the old Isiah Thomas flashbacks where the point guard should have this kind of success," Krauser said. "I have the ability to do a lot of different things. I wanted to concentrate on rebounding and making the good pass, but I saw the opportunity for open shots and knew I had to step up and knock them down."

Richmond fought back and pulled within 62-58 on a free throw by Kevin Steenberge with 3:12 left, but the Panthers made seven free throws in the final 2:16, including five by Krauser, to seal the win.

"Carl Krauser is arguably one of the top point guards in the country," Richmond coach Jerry Wainwright said. "His eyes, at different times, were as big as saucers. That's not because he's old, but because he has a lot of experience. He's a high-octane guy who understands what his team needs."

Krauser came into the game with an average of 14.5 points and had scored more than 20 points just once. But he was more aggressive than usual with starting shooting guard Antonio Graves sidelined with a sprained ankle. Graves, who is averaging 10.1 points, suffered the injury in a 73-42 win over Coppin State last Saturday.

The 31 points by Krauser was the most for a Panther since Ricardo Greer scored 33 against Syracuse in February 2000.

Chris Taft and freshman Ronald Ramon were the only other Panthers in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Jermaine Bucknor led Richmond with 13 points, Steenberge and Patrick O'Malley each scored 12 and Paterick finished with 10 for Richmond.

Richmond guard Daon Merritt was held to six points, nine below his season average.

The teams had not played since Pittsburgh posted a 47-24 victory over Richmond in 1938.

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