Pitt Hangs On To Defeat St. Bonaventure 58-54 For Sixth Win Of Season


Dec 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Jamel Artis (1) dribbles around St. Bonaventure Bonnies guard Andell Cumberbatch (23) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 58-54. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt Panthers rested with a week off from game action and were looking to improve upon their victory over Duquesne, as they welcomed the St. Bonaventure Bonnies of the Atlantic-10.

Senior guard Cameron Wright, recovering from a foot injury, made his first start of the season but only scored 1 point in 21 minutes of game action.

The Panthers were trailing 25-24 at the half, but opened up a double-digit lead in the second half and hung on for a 58-54 victory in a battle of poor shooting and many fouls.

A win is a win, as Pitt looks to find more scoring and play tougher defense.  We have seen serious defensive lapses by the Panthers, but the defense pulled out the win in this game, locking down on defenders and forcing several turnovers.

For Pitt (6-3), sophomore forward Jamel Artis scored 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 blocks, while fellow sophomore forward Michael Young played the center position, scoring 14 points and 17 rebounds.

For St. Bonaventure (6-2), junior guard Marcus Posley scored a game-high 17 points, and junior forward Dion Wright added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Pitt jumped out to an 11-5 lead 8 minutes into the game, as Pitt struggled shooting the basketball and the Bonnies turned the ball over several times.  A Dion Wright jumper gave St. Bonaventure their biggest lead at 25-21, and Pitt trailed 25-24 going into halftime.

In the second half, Pitt went on a 13-2 run to ease some nerves in the crowd.  An Artis layup gave Pitt its biggest lead 42-31, but St. Bonaventure came all the way back and took a 3-point lead with 5 minutes remaining in the game.  A Josh Newkirk three pointer and a dunk by Young gave Pitt back the lead at 49-47.

Young, who struggled from the field (3 of 10 shooting), was able to make enough free throws at the end of the game, as Pitt survived a scare and won 58-54.  With the Panthers leading 55-52, St. Bonaventure guard Jaylen Adams was fouled shooting a three pointer, but he missed the second free throw.

Pitt improved its shooting in the second half, finishing at 40% (20 for 50), but only shot 65.2% from the free throw line (15 of 23), whereas St. Bonaventure only shot 36% on 18 of 50 shooting.

Head coach Jamie Dixon only played 8 Panthers in this game, as the majority of starters played over 32 minutes.  Sophomore guard Josh Newkirk came off the bench and played 31 minutes, and Wright played 21 minutes in his first game of the season at the Pete.

True freshman guard Cameron Johnson missed the game with a shoulder injury that had bothered him the past month, and senior center Derrick Randall and sophomore forward Sheldon Jeter did not get into the game.

Artis made his first start of the season at the 4-spot, as Young moved from the 4 to the 5 position.  Dixon continues to experiment with the rotation, looking for an ideal lineup before ACC play.


Pitt will play the Manhattan Jaspers Wednesday at home.