tampabay.com

Men: Seton Hall stops No. 8 Pittsburgh

By wire services
Published March 4, 2006


PITTSBURGH - Donald Copeland scored Seton Hall's last seven points over the final 1:56 and the Pirates ended No. 8 Pittsburgh's 16-game home winning streak with a 65-61 victory Friday night that greatly improved their NCAA tournament chances.

Aaron Gray missed two free throws with 8.5 seconds remaining that would have tied it for Pittsburgh (21-6, 10-6 Big East), and Copeland followed several seconds later with two free throws to deal the Panthers their second consecutive loss and third in four games.

Kelly Whitney scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Seton Hall (18-10, 9-7) won its second in a row following three consecutive losses that damaged the Pirates' NCAA hopes. Copeland followed up a 28-point game against Cincinnati with 15 points, most down the stretch.

Pitt's late-season slump will likely drop the Panthers to the No. 6 seed in the Big East tournament and a 9 p.m. game Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Panthers were in position to secure the No. 4 spot and a first-round bye until losing to No. 16 West Virginia 67-62 on Monday night.

MISSISSIPPI: Rod Barnes will not return as men's basketball coach next season. Athletic director Pete Boone said that Barnes will finish this season with the Rebels, but wouldn't specify whether the coach resigned or was being fired. A school spokesman said Barnes was traveling with his team for its regular-season finale at No. 21 LSU on Saturday and would have no immediate comment.

State

NEW ORLEANS 76, FLA. INT'L 56: Jeremie Davis and Nathaniel Parker each scored 15 points and Shawn Malloy added 14 as New Orleans (10-18) won in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Florida International (8-20) pulled to within 10 points, 36-26, on a jumper by Ismael N'Diaye with 17:25 left.