Artis, Young & Wright Lead Pitt To Physical Win Over Manhattan


Dec 17, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Cameron Wright (right) dribbles the ball as Manhattan Jaspers guard RaShawn Stores (left) defends during the second half against at the Petersen Events Center. PITT won 65-56. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While a historic night was in the works regarding the athletic program, Pitt welcomed the Manhattan Jaspers to the Peterson Events Center and sent them back to the Bronx with a loss.

Pitt extended its nonconference home winning streak to 27 with a 65-56 victory.

The Jaspers made the NCAA Tournament last season, winning the MAAC and falling to Louisville in the Second Round, so this was a quality nonconference opponent, though Manhattan has struggled early this season.

Pitt senior guard Cameron Wright began to return to form, and sophomore forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young continue to grow for the young Panthers.  Though Pitt committed 16 turnovers, the Panthers played better on defense and made enough plays to win their seventh game of the season.

For Pitt (7-3), Artis lead the way with a career-high 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Young added 16 points and 8 rebounds.  Wright scored 14 points and showed his defensive presence with 2 steals.

Meanwhile, Manhattan senior forward Emmy Andujar scored 19 points and junior forward Ashton Pankey added 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Pitt sophomore guard Josh Newkirk drained a three pointer to give the Panthers an early 11-2 lead six minutes into the game.

Pitt never trailed in the game, and the closest the Jaspers got to Pitt was a four-point deficit at 22-18.

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After leading 26-21 at the half, Pitt quickly blew the game open in the second half as a Young jumper increased the Pitt lead to 12.

Pitt’s largest lead came at the six minute mark when junior guard James Robinson hit a three pointer to make it 53-37.  Andujar tried as hard as possible to keep the Jaspers in the game, cutting the deficit to seven, but that is as close as Manhattan would get late in the second half.

Pitt would go on to win its seventh game of the season, 65-56 over Manhattan, improving Pitt’s record at the Peterson Events Center to 197-27.

Pitt played better defense in this game, as Wright essentially gave them an added lift. Manhattan (2-7) shot a decent 47.7% (21 of 44) compared to Pitt’s 51.5% (23 of 45), so both teams were pretty even as far as shooting percentage goes.

With Cameron Wright in the lineup, Pitt is 3-0, and the Panthers should only get better over time.

This game looked more like the Pitt games of the past, where there is gritty, hard-nosed defense and many foul shots. The Panthers had an advantage at the foul line in this one, making seven more free throws compared to Manhattan. Pitt assisted on 20 if its 23 baskets, showing improved team chemistry and unselfish play.

Pitt sophomore forward Sheldon Jeter saw some action after not playing in the previous two games, and true freshman guard Cameron Johnson missed his second game in a row with a shoulder injury.

Pitt did turn the ball over too much, and that is certainly a point of emphasis for Jamie Dixon in upcoming practices.


Pitt will play the Oakland Grizzlies at home on Saturday at 4 p.m.