Dec 22, 2003
By ALAN ROBINSON
AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH – Mark McCarroll, a seldom-used reserve last season, scored
13 points in his second consecutive strong game and No. 16 Pittsburgh dealt
Florida State its first loss, 63-56 Monday night.
Carl Krauser led Pitt (11-0) with 17 points and McCarroll had six points
during a pivotal 10-2 run that started the second half and gave the Panthers a
McCarroll, a 6-foot-10 junior, didn’t play in nearly half of Pitt’s games
last season and hadn’t scored more than 10 points in his career until getting
14 in Saturday’s 70-49 victory over Murray State. His playing time has
increased substantially as starter Chevon Troutman fights through a groin
Troutman, riding a stationary bicycle behind the Panthers bench to stay
loose while out of the game, shook off a scoreless first half to get nine
points down the stretch and help Pitt open leads of as many as 10 points.
The game essentially served as the championship game of the Pittsburgh
Holiday Hoops Tournament, a six-team exempt event played both at campus sites
and Pitt. Florida State and Pitt were predrawn to meet in the final game.
Pittsburgh moved within one victory of matching the school’s best start,
12-0 in 1929-30, and won its 31st in a row at home. The Panthers are 25-0 at
home since the Petersen Events Center opened last season.
Florida State (10-1) failed to match a 33-year-old school record of 11
consecutive victories set during the Dave Cowens era, despite Tim Pickett’s 14 points and highly recruited freshman Von Wafer’s 13. Nate Johnson added 12
points, but only one of Florida State’s three starting inside players, Mike
Matthews (two points) scored.
Wafer got the Seminoles within 56-50 with a jumper from the wing with just
over a minute left but, after a Pitt turnover, he missed a jumper that would
have cut it to four. Pitt’s Jaron Brown then grabbed a loose ball and scored
off a driving layup to get the lead back to eight.
The Seminoles, trying to follow up an earlier win at Miami by beating a Big
East team on its home court for the second time this month, traded leads for
much of the first half while making 6-of-11 3-pointers. The Seminoles were
4-of-14 on 3-pointers in the second half.
Jaron Brown added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Pitt, which has held six of
its last seven points to 56 points or fewer.