- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Now here's a first. The Georgetown Hoyas were beaten by a guy who really can't shoot the ball.
Nothing suggests that Brandin Knight, the point guard for the ninth-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers, is packing heat. The younger brother of Memphis Grizzlies star Brevin Knight averages fewer than 10 points a game, shoots barely more than 30 percent from the floor, is a 44 percent free throw shooter and is a 26 percent 3-point shooter.
But he was almost automatic against the Hoyas last night as Georgetown suffered its worst loss of the season. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Until last night, Georgetown had been losing mostly close games with dignity that is, until Knight walked in the door.
Knight scored a season-high 23 points on 7-for-12 shooting as he led the Panthers to an 82-67 blowout of the Hoyas last night before 7,242 at MCI Center.
"They gave me only one open look when they went zone but for the most part they followed me," Knight said. "I made my shots tonight, which is a first in some time. We got the win, that's all that matters."
The loss put the Hoyas (11-11, 3-8 Big East) in sole possession of last place in the Big East's West Division, one-half game below Rutgers for the cellar. Georgetown has lost seven of its last eight games.
Yet again, this loss was not Mike Sweetney's fault. Sweetney scored a game-high 28 points on nine of 15 shooting.
The Hoyas should have beaten the Panthers (now 18-4, 8-3) in the first meeting on Jan.25. Georgetown lost because of a defensive breakdown in the game's final seconds, when the Hoyas allowed a 50-foot inbounds pass and then fouled guard Julius Page. With four-tenths of a second left, Page sank the first, intentionally missed the second, and Georgetown lost 65-64.
Also in the first meeting, the Panthers shut down Sweetney. Georgetown's preseason All-American was held to just 12 points,10 below his average.
This time, however, the Panthers had no luck containing Sweetney. It took the 6-foot-8, 260-pounder just the first half to equal his production in the first meeting.
Pitt played like a team cooped up in a hotel room for three days. In the first half, the Panthers stood around on offense and milked the shot clock. As a result, the Hoyas were tickled to go into halftime tied 33-33 with a top-10 team.
"We've been sitting around for a long time and we got tired," Page said.
Pitt had no excuse for opening flat. The Panthers arrived in Washington late Saturday after their upset loss at Seton Hall. With Monday's cancellation, Pitt was able to get two full practices Sunday and Monday and yesterday's pregame shootaround to become acclimated to MCI.
Defensively, the Panthers didn't live up to their reputation either. Pitt came in as the nation's fifth-stingiest defensive team, allowing just 58.6 points per game. But Georgetown shot well 48 percent on 12 of 25 shots in the first half.
Late in the half, the Panthers lost Hoyas guard Tony Bethel in defensive transition. Twice in the final minute, Bethel burned the Panthers with 3-pointers from the right wing.
With 58 seconds left before halftime and the Hoyas trailing 31-27, the wide-open Bethel made it a one-point game. Sixteen seconds later, Bethel, who grew up in Fort Washington, quickly gave the Hoyas a 33-31 lead with 32 seconds left when he nailed a 3-pointer from the same spot on the right wing. Bethel scored nine points in the half.
Knight, who came into this game as a woeful 33 percent shooter, led the Panthers with 10 points in the half. The Big East's co-player of the year last season made two of three 3-pointers in the first half.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 7-0 run that made it 40-33. The Hoyas countered with a 9-0 run and took a 42-40 lead. Sweetney scored seven of Georgetown's points during the run to counter Pitt's fast start.


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