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Providence upsets No. 1 Pittsburgh

Weyinmi Efejuku scores 16 points to lead Friars to 81-73 victory.

February 25, 2009|Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Weyinmi Efejuku scored 16 points for Providence, which took a 20-point lead and then turned back one last rally by No. 1 Pittsburgh for an 81-73 victory Tuesday night, the school's second win ever over a top-ranked team.

The victory greatly improves the at-large resume for the Friars, 17-11 overall and 9-7 in the Big East, who are in sixth place in the 16-team conference considered by many the toughest in the country.

"I think they made a big step to be able to continue their collegiate careers tonight," Coach Keno Davis said of his seniors after their final home game.

"We're in a pretty good situation: We're in the top half of the best conference in the country. It puts us in the conversation. I'm sure if we had lost, they wouldn't be talking about us anymore."

The talking started when Pittsburgh star DeJuan Blair fouled out on an illegal screen in the final minute with the Panthers trailing, 77-70.

Pittsburgh (25-3, 12-3) returned to the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll on Monday, its second time there this season.

"It was just terrible. We didn't play as us," said Blair, who has fouled out in two of Pitt's three losses. "They deserved it. We gave them that game."

Blair had 17 points and eight rebounds, after averaging 21 points and 20.5 rebounds in wins over then-No. 1 Connecticut and DePaul last week.

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