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Pitt defeats Morehead State, 72-62

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I said coming into the game that Morehead State (5-3) was known for its defense. We got a glimpse of that on Sunday in a relatively close game that Pitt ultimately won, 72-62, moving the Panthers to 8-1 on the year.

The Panthers ended up shooting a manageable 46% from the field on the day, but were only 1-13 from three-point range. Much has been made of the transformation of this team, which has turned into one of the best long-distance shooting squads in the country. But on Sunday, Pitt couldn't buy a bucket from downtown, helping the Eagles keep things close.

There are times when teams just have to rely on their stars and that was the case on Sunday. Pitt has gotten a lot of contributions from its role players this season, but in this game, it was the Michael Young and Jamel Artis show. The pair combined for 42 points with Artis shaking a slow start with some early foul trouble to score 17 of his 22 in the second half.

Offensively, not much else was there. James Robinson was third in scoring with seven points, but shot a dismal 3-9. Much of the team's damage that was done occurred from the foul line as 29 of the team's 72 points came from the charity stripe. Artis and Young led the way there, too, and were nearly perfect, making 22 of 24 shots.

Improving center Rafael Maia again led the team in rebounding and looks to do most of his damage there. That's what the Panthers brought him in for and it's paying off as he is probably the team's best player in that category.

With two games in three days, the team is due for a rest. Fortunately they'll get it now as they have a full week to prepare, taking on Davidson next Sunday in one of their bigger non-conference matchups.

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