Pitt Panthers

Pittsburgh’s Jamel Artis (1) shoots between Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) and V.J. Beachem (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

Young scores 25, No. 24 Pittsburgh beats Notre Dame 86-82

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Michael Young scored a season-high 26 points and No. 24 Pittsburgh held on after wasting a big lead for an 86-82 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.

The Irish used a 9-0 run to cut a 16-point deficit to 79-77 on a 3-pointer by Demetrius Jackson and layup by Steve Vasturia. James Robinson ended a 1-of-9 shooting streak for the Panthers with a basket inside.

The Irish (10-5, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) closed to 83-80 on a dunk by Jackson and had a chance to tie it on a 3-pointer by Matt Ryan, but it missed badly. Young hit a free throw with 11.5 seconds left. The Irish closed to 84-82 on a layup with 6 seconds left, but Robinson made a pair of free throws with 5 seconds left to clinch the win for the Panthers (14-1, 3-0).

Jamel Artis added 19 points for the Panthers and Sheldon Jeter had 18 as the Panthers dominated inside, outscoring the Irish 40-24 in the paint and outrebounding the Irish 34-24.

Jackson led the Irish with 26 points, Bonzie Colson and Steve Vasturia added 13 and Zach Auguste added 12.

Notre Dame cut Pittsburgh’s 18-point lead to four-points late in the first half, but the Panthers, playing their first road game, led 49-43 at halftime and regained control by opening the second half on a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Artis as the Panthers won their 10th straight.

The Irish, who lost at home for the first time this season, used a 14-1 run to cut the lead to 73-64 on a basket inside by Bonzie Colson. Young ended the run by the Irish by making 3 of 4 free throws, and Sheldon Jeter had a three-point play to extend the lead to 79-68.

Young started the game with a three-point play 15 seconds in when he was fouled by Bonzie Colson and had 14 points in the first seven minutes on 5-of-6 shooting. He sat the first 10 minutes of the second half, though, after picking up two fouls in the final 64 seconds of the first half.

The Panthers overwhelmed the Irish early, jumping to a 13-0 lead as the Irish missed their first four shots and the Panthers made it 15-2 when Young made his fourth straight shot. Pittsburgh hit 10 of its first 12 shots, extending the lead to 28-10 on a 3-pointer by Chris Jones. Demetrius Jackson began getting the Irish back into it by making four straight 3-pointers, cutting the lead to 33-22.

TIP-INS

Pittsburgh: The Panthers entered the game leading the nation in free throw shooting at 79 percent. They made 20 of 24 on Saturday. … The Panthers were 10 of 19 from 3-point range. … Pitt’s reserves outscored Notre Dame’s bench 26-10.

Notre Dame: Jackson had a career-high five 3-pointers. … Notre Dame scored 43 points in the first half, the most allowed by Pitt in a half this season. … Notre Dame’s first turnover came 81 seconds into the second half when Rafael Maia stole the ball from Beachem. … Zach Auguste fouled out with 5:53 to play.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: travels to Louisville on Thursday.

Notre Dame: hosts Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

Purdue’s Rapheal Davis doubtful against Pitt

Rapheal Davis
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Purdue senior guard Rapheal Davis will likely miss his second consecutive game on Tuesday night as he recovers from a sprained MCL that he suffered in practice last week.

The Boilermakers travel to unbeaten Pitt tonight to play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Purdue associate SID Chris Forman said on Twitter that Davis is doubtful and couldn’t make it through practice the last few days.

While it will hurt Purdue to be without the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Davis is apart of a pretty deep Purdue team that should still be very competitive without him. The senior also missed Purdue’s win over Lehigh on Saturday and it’s probably best to make sure he’s healthy for the Big Ten conference season as the Boilers have big aspirations.

Report: Pitt gets junior college guard on board in 2016

Jamie Dixon
AP Photo
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Pitt picked up its third member of the Class of 2016 on Monday night as ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that the Panthers landed junior college guard Crisshawn Clark.

The 6-foot-4 Clark took official visits to both Pitt and Oregon and decided to play closer to his former home in Ohio. Playing at Canada College in San Mateo, California last season, Clark averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists last season while shooting 35 percent from the field. Once he enters Pitt for the 2016-17 season, Clark will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

By adding Clark, Pitt has secured some future backcourt pieces in the Class of 2016 as he’ll join three-star guard Justice Kithcart and three-star forward Corey Manigault. Kithcart’s quickness and ability to get in the paint should free up some open looks for Clark and the two guards contrast each other nicely based on their skillsets.

Three-star guard Justice Kithcart commits to Pitt

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Pitt landed its point guard of the future on Sunday as three-star guard Justice Kithcart announced his decision on Twitter. The 6-foot-2 Kithcart had a very good summer on the grassroots circuit and made his commitment to the Panthers during his official visit.

An aggressive, attacking guard, Kithcart is very quick and he uses his athleticism to get in the paint whenever he can. Also a strong defender, Kithcart will have to improve his perimeter jumper before hitting the college ranks, but he’s already very good in transition and should be able to put pressure on defenses right away with his speed.

Playing with Team Loaded Virginia in the adidas Gauntlet this spring and summer, Kithcart averaged 11.3 points, 3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Kithcart is Pitt’s second commitment in the 2016 class, as he joins three-star forward Corey Manigault.

Four-star 2016 guard sets announcement date

Jon Lopez/Nike
Jon Lopez/Nike
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Class of 2016 point guard Cassius Winston will announce his college decision on Friday, Sept. 18, the Michigan native tweeted on Friday night. The 6-foot-0 Winston is one of the premier floor generals in the country and he’s currently rated as the No. 28 overall player in the Class of 2016.

Winston has taken official visits to Stanford, Pitt and Michigan State during the recruiting process and Michigan was recently dropped from his list.

Limited to 14 games with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer because of a broken wrist, Winston averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field, 79 percent from the free-throw line and 41 percent from the 3-point line during that stretch.

While the in-state Spartans appear to be the favorite here, this is an intriguing recruitment since Winston’s final three spans across the country in three unique conferences. If Winston does opt to stay in Michigan and play for head coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans will have commitments from three major pieces as they try to reel in five-star wing Miles Bridges, a teammate of Winston’s on The Family.

Both Winston and Bridges are taking their official visits to Michigan State this weekend as the college football world focuses on the Spartans’ top-ten clash with visiting Oregon.

Pitt graduate transfer forward out indefinitely with thumb injury

Rafael Maia
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Pitt is counting on Brown graduate transfer Rafael Maia to help produce on the interior this season, but the school announced that he’ll be out indefinitely with a thumb injury. According to a release from the school, Maia suffered the injury in practice on Tuesday and his right hand is currently in a soft cast.

Maia will be reevaluated in two weeks.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 53 percent shooting as a junior. This injury shouldn’t hurt Pitt too much if Maia is able to return before games begin, since he already has three years of productive ball under his belt, but it would have been nice for the forward to acclimate to his new teammates in the first weeks of practice.