Xavier Johnson will need to produce this season if Pitt hopes to have any sort of sustained success and, at least in today’s opening game in Italy, he was the Panthers best player.
The sophomore point guard scored a game-high 20 points and also chipped in four rebounds and three assists as Pitt defeated the Netherlands, 60-55, in a tightly contested game.
The other encouraging aspect today was the debut of JUCO transfer guard Ryan Murphy, who lived up to his reputation as a three-point specialist. Murphy chipped in 13 points, a team-high six rebounds and a team leading four three-pointers.
This was an impressive win for Pitt because their opponent is an older aged and highly experienced team.
Other notes from today’s contest:
Pitt shot 33.3% (20-60) from the field for the game, including 46% in the 2nd half.
Pitt forced 17 turnovers, blocked 10 shots and recorded 8 steals.
Eric Hamilton: 7 points, 5 rebounds
Xavier Johnson: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Trey McGowens: 3 points (1-3 FG), 1 rebound
Gerald Drumgoole: 4 points, 4 rebounds
Au’Diese Toney: 8 points, 5 rebounds
Justin Champagnie: 5 points, 3 rebounds
Karim Coulibaly: 0 points
Terrell Brown: 0 points, 3 blocks, 4 rebounds
Ryan Murphy: 13 points, 6 rebounds
*Next Game: Saturday against the Florence All-Stars.