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Pitt holds off Penn State 81-73

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The Panthers move to 8-2 on the season

NCAA Basketball: Never Forget Tribute Classic-Pittsburgh vs Penn State Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt knocked off Penn State by a score of 81-73 this afternoon as a part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey. #1 Villanova rallied past Notre Dame in the opening game of the event prior to the Pitt game. It was Pitt’s fifth game outside of the Petersen Events Center this year. It marks the seventh straight win for Pitt over Penn State in the series. Pitt now leads the all-time series 38-37.

Pitt was once again led by their senior forward, Michael Young, who posted a game-high 29 posts while collecting 9 rebounds. Pitt also received a 16 point 8 rebound and 5 assist game from fellow senior Jamel Artis. Cameron Johnson was the only other Panther to reach double figures, as he finished with 10.

Pitt played an excellent first half, and led 42-22 at the break. Penn State had trouble scoring, and Pitt was very balanced on offense. The tides turned after the intermission, and the Nittany Lions outscored the Panthers 51-39 in the second half.

Penn State freshman forward, Mike Watkins, gave the Panthers fits and finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Pat Chambers’ squad made a point to get to the paint in the second half and it worked. The Lions were having trouble from the outside and finished 6-22 from behind the arc. The inside game fueled their comeback. They shrunk the Pitt lead to 5 points late in the game, but Pitt managed to hold on for the 8 point victory.

Sheldon Jeter just missed a double-double with 8 points and 10 rebounds. He hit a crucial three-pointer late in the game to stop a Penn State run. Chris Jones provided 9 points as well. Kevin Stallings only went eight-deep today, with Ryan Luther, Justice Kithcart, and Corey Manigault seeing action. Damon Wilson and Jonathan Milligan have been regulars, but did not see and floor time today.

Pitt will take on Rice next Saturday with no games during the week on account of finals. They have three more games in the non-conference before the ACC opener against Notre Dame on New Year’s Eve.