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Young scores 29, Pitt holds on to beat Penn St 81-73

December 10, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Sheldon Jeter can’t quite put his finger on why Pitt is giving up second half leads. Fortunately, he and the Panthers can continue to look for answers after a victory.

Michael Young had 29 points and nine rebounds as Pittsburgh held on to defeat Penn State 81-73 on Saturday in the Never Forget Tribute Classic.

To Pitt coach Kevin Stallings, it was déjà vu.

“That looked like a lot of our games to me so far this year to me,” Stallings said. “Really good play on both ends in the first half. Second half, offensive play was probably good enough. Defensive play was not very good.”

Jamel Artis had 16 points and eight rebounds, Cameron Johnson scored 10 and Jeter added eight points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots for Pitt.

A 3-pointer by Ryan Luther gave the Panthers (8-2) a 50-26 lead with 16:50 to play but Penn State used an 11-2 run to trim its deficit to 15 about four minutes later. Shep Garner scored four points during a 6-0 spurt that pulled the Nittany Lions within five with 1:50 left but Jeter answered with a 3-pointer and they would get no closer.

“Sheldon is a great team guy.He probably hit the biggest shot of the game. They had the moment and he jumped up and he stuck that three in from the corner there,” Stallings said. “Biggest shot of the game probably for us.”

Mike Watkins had 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, while Tony Carr and Payton Banks scored 13 points apiece for Penn State (6-5). Garner added 12.

“A tale of two halves,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “Not sure where we were in the first half. Maybe the bus was late. But we showed up in the second half and competed like a Penn State basketball game.”

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: After George Mason snapped Penn State’s four-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions have lost two in a row for the second time this season. Penn State had lost to No. 1 Duke and No. 24 Cincinnati

Pitt: Young has led the Panthers in scoring in the past nine games, and came in to the contest ranked 17th in the country in scoring, averaging 22.3 points per game.

UP NEXT

Penn State: After a week off, the Nittany Lions will remain on the road when they travel to Madison Square Garden to face St. John’s next Sunday before closing out their non-conference schedule at home against Morgan State.

Pitt: The Panthers return to the court next Saturday to face Rice at 7 p.m. to begin a five-game home stand.

HITTING FROM 3

Pitt went 10 of 22 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc while Penn State hit only 6 of 22 shots from 3-point range

FIRST TIME IN A LONG SERIES

Penn State and Pitt met for the 147th time in the 110-year history. However, it is the first time they have played on a neutral site as they played at the Prudential Center in the second game of a double-header in the inaugural Never Forget Tribute Classic. The Nittany Lions hold a 75-72 advantage in the series despite losing six in a row.

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