OAKLAND, PA — Coming off a last-minute, tight win over Marquette in the 2K Classic consolation game, the Panthers answered with another closely contested ballgame against the Yale Bulldogs. Yale-Pitt proved to be an unprecedented matchup and a nail-biter throughout, but the Panthers held on and topped the Bulldogs, 75-70. Much of which was due to the continued success of Jamel Artis and Michael Young offensively.
Last time out, Young eclipsed his previous career-high mark for points by dropping 30 against Marquette. Despite not topping his 30-point performance, Young still produced a memorable game. An 11th career double-double — 24 points and 10 rebounds — notched yet another accomplishment under his belt.
A vast improvement at the charity stripe has been key for Young, who went 7-7 from the line Tuesday (13-13 in his last two games).
In the house last night at the Petersen Events Center was someone every college basketball player wants to see — NBA scouts. The Milwaukee Bucks sent two scouts, more than likely for Young, to see what the two teams had to offer. And Young certainly answered the call in all facets.
Nevertheless, the 6-foot-9 center wasn’t the only Panther giving the Bulldogs fits. Fellow senior Jamel Artis, one of the four seniors on the roster, helped ignite the offense with powerful drives to the hoop and quality passing.
Artis has quietly been settling into the Panthers’ point guard slot; dropping 20 points and four assists against Yale.
For 1-2 punches in college basketball, the tandem ranks near the top. They’ve combined seven games with 20 points or more and lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in points per game as a duo. The tag-team dropped 44 combined points against Yale.
It wasn’t just an Artis-Young show again, however.
The Bulldogs moved into a zone to combat their success with just under six minutes left in the second half. Instead, Yale opened up space for Cameron Johnson, who converted three straight balls from behind the arc and sparked Pitt’s surge ahead.
“It’s very hard to limit those guys,” James Jones, Yale coach, said. “We tried to play a little zone in the second half and tried to take the ball out of their hands somewhat, but they found some openings. We tried to pack it in and the kid comes off the bench and makes three threes. That was just an opportune moment for him.”
Coach Kevin Stallings has been looking for someone to step up and complement Artis and Young.
“We have to get him more clean looks at the basket because his stroke is very, very good,” Stallings said.
Pitt’s new coach continues to mention how the team isn’t where it needs to be and that it’s in the feeling out process.
- Power five conference teams usually dominate over teams such as Yale, Pitt will have to grind games out because of its lack of a big man. Tonight’s game proved just that.
- Yale had chances to win this game. If Sam Downey were used more exclusively from the get-go, we may not be viewing the same outcome.
- Miye Oni and Blake Reynolds had tremendous success from downtown. Much of this was due to Pitt’s lack of coverage in the corners, something Stallings says will be talked about in the film session.
- Three players over ten points: Artis, Johnson and Young.
- Pitt has won 12 straight non-conference home games against unranked opponents; also winning 13 straight now against Ivy League foes in general.
- Either Artis or Young have led the Panthers in scoring 32 out of the last 37 games.
- Last time Pitt faced Yale was January 2, 1956. Pitt won 95-74.
- Stallings noted that he’s okay with only 13 assists when the team allows just five turnovers.
Pitt 75, Yale 70
“Much rather learn from a victory than a defeat,” Stallings following the showdown.
Pitt moves on to face Morehead State this Friday at 7 p.m. EST. Sean Woods, recently extended by the team last summer, has been suspended while an investigation remains open regarding — rumored — his treatment towards players and the environment in which he creates.