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November 27, 2007
PITTSBURGH — Ronald Ramon made all five of his 3-point attempts to score 15 points and No. 14 Pittsburgh put away Boston University quickly with a 20-3 run in the first half, staying unbeaten with an 80-53 victory Tuesday night.
The Panthers (6-0), again showing off their new, faster-paced offense, also got 14 points from leading scorer Sam Young, 11 points and eight assists from point guard Levance Fields and 11 points from Mike Cook.
The early run put the Panthers up 21-5 and was similar to that of a 22-0 run early in their 92-45 rout of Buffalo on Friday. Pitt's average winning margin against mostly lightweight competition is 31 points.
Pitt is 6-0 for the sixth consecutive season and has a chance to open at least 9-0 for the sixth season in a row.
Fields hit a 3-pointer and Ramon made two in a row beyond the arc to put Pitt up 10-4, before Fields made a long jumper that was inches short of another 3. Keith Benjamin's 3-pointer and Tyrell Biggs' dunk made it 21-5, and coach Jamie Dixon used everyone on his bench after that.
Boston University (1-5), picked by America East coaches to win the league but the loser of four in a row, still has not beaten a ranked opponent in 38 years - since a 1959 NCAA tournament upset of Navy. The Terriers lost the Eastern Regional finals to Jerry West-led West Virginia that season.
The Terriers never threatened to end that Top 25 streak against Pitt despite Carlos Strong's game-high 24 points. They couldn't handle Pitt's improved outside shooting - the Panthers were 10-of-22 on 3-pointers - or its more athletic inside players.
Boston University is playing short-handed without leading scorer Corey Lowe (personal reasons) and point guard Tyler Morris (foot injury) and it showed during a two-game road trip in which it was outscored by a combined 50 points against Marshall and Pitt. The Terriers lost to Marshall 70-47 on Sunday.
While Pitt is again dominating its early season competition, it is doing so in a much different way than it did the last two years with 7-footer Aaron Gray and 6-10 Levon Kendall in the lineup. These Panthers are smaller but quicker and better suited to playing more of an up-and-down game than the most recent Pitt teams were.
Fittingly enough, the Panthers did all this 3-point shooting with Steelers kicker Jeff Reed sitting in a courtside seat. The night before, his last-minute field goal provided the only scoring in the Steelers' 3-0 victory over Miami in a waterlogged game at Heinz Field.
For more coverage of Pittsburgh, visit PantherLair.com.