Pitt topples West Virginia

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PITTSBURGH - Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall wore down West Virginia with their inside scoring and rebounding and No. 12 Pittsburgh remained in contention for the Big East regular-season title, beating the Mountaineers 80-66 on Tuesday night behind a dominating second half.

Pittsburgh's Antonio Graves (center) gets off a pass during the No. 12 Panthers 80-66 win over West Virginia on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh's Antonio Graves (center) gets off a pass during the No. 12 Panthers 80-66 win over West Virginia on Tuesday night.

Gray, hampered by a badly sprained ankle for 10 days and not much of a factor in a 61-53 loss at now-No. 9 Georgetown on Saturday, keyed a 9-0 run at the start of the second half that reversed a three-point halftime deficit and made it 38-32.

West Virginia got to within three points at 54-51 with about 8 minutes remaining, but Mike Cook hit a 3-pointer and two free throws and Fields made another off-balance 3 while nearly falling out of bounds during another 9-0 run that gave Pitt (25-5, 12-3 Big East) its first double-digit lead.

Cook all but sealed it with another 3 after Joe Alexander hit two free throws for West Virginia.

West Virginia (20-8, 8-7) dropped their fourth in six games and might need to win at least once in the Big East Tournament to get a bid in the NCAA Tournament.

ARIZONA: Wildcats coach Lute Olson labeled speculation that he has Parkinson's disease "a vicious, vicious rumor" that is "totally false."

The 72-year-old coach brought up the subject at his weekly news conference Tuesday.

"I have gotten some calls about rumors and certain radio stations running some things about me having Parkinson's, which is a complete lie," Olson said. "I have physicals like everyone else does. There is absolutely no medical indication of any type of problem."

A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Olson has a 779-278 record in 34 years as a college coach, including a 587-186 mark in 24 years at Arizona.

He said he first heard the rumor a couple of weeks ago, then was asked about it after his weekly radio show on Tuesday.

"There is absolutely no truth to that statement. If it has been repeatedly on radio stations then I will take the necessary actions that I need to get this stopped," he said. "It is a vicious, vicious rumor. If I need to I will get my physician to make a statement."

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