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Pitt's Brown disputes game-winning layup

Television replays were inconclusive as to whether St. John's guard Dwight Hardy stepped on the baseline before making his twisting, underhand layup to beat Pitt, 60-59, on Saturday. But the person closest to Hardy, Pitt's Gilbert Brown, said he has no doubt the Red Storm senior was out of bounds.

"Definitely," Brown said.

Regardless, Brown said he did everything he could do in defending Hardy, but the Bronx native made a circus basket.

"I felt that I cut him off to the baseline," Brown said. "It was a tough shot. He got around me and made a shot from behind the backboard. Other than (maybe a little help defense) I feel like we played it to our best. Maybe we could have forced him to take a tougher shot, like a jump shot."

Brown admitted the frequent whistles — Pitt was called for a season-high 27 personal fouls — affected him.

"If I would have tried one more slide, it would have been a hip check and he would have been going to the line for two (free throws)," Brown said. "I tried my best to cut him off, and I felt he didn't have any more space."

• Pitt sophomore center Dante Taylor sat out practice Tuesday to give his ailing knees a rest. Taylor has been bothered by tendinitis in both knees and a bruised left knee bone after colliding with a teammate in early February. The nagging injuries have affected his production; Taylor is averaging 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in his past six games. "He has obviously been in some pain for a while," coach Jamie Dixon said. "He didn't feel good the last game, and it has hampered him." Dixon said Taylor's progress will be monitored today to determine his status against West Virginia on Thursday.

• Junior guard Ashton Gibbs, who came off the bench on Saturday at St. John's in his first game back from an MCL injury, will return to the starting lineup against West Virginia. Gibbs missed Pitt's first game against the Mountaineers on Feb. 7. Sophomore Travon Woodall, who started the past four games, will back up Gibbs.

• Dixon said he was satisfied with the defense on West Virginia forward Deniz Kilicli, who went 9 for 13 from the field with a game-high 19 points in their first meeting. Kilicli beat Gary McGhee and Dante Taylor with a variety of difficult shots. "I thought for the most part we did a good job," Dixon said. "We guarded it just how we wanted to. Sometimes guys will make a shot. He made more than a few."

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