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Pitt Basketball

Inside the Garden: Live Blog from Pitt-St. John’s

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NEW YORK — On Saturday at noon, Pitt will be taking on St. John’s in the world-famous Madison Square Garden, as part of the Gotham Classic.

Pittsburgh Sports Now is in the building and will be providing game updates throughout the event in this live blog.

2H: 3:45: St. John’s 52, Pitt 50

Panthers are right there once again near the end of a one-possession game.

Will Jeffress bailed out Posh Alexander as the shot-clock expired, fouling the St. John’s guard and giving the Johnnies two free throws after an excellent defensive possession by Pitt.

2H: 7:50: St. John’s 50, Pitt 46

Both teams are playing sloppy ball down the stretch, and it feels like the game is right there for the taking. Players on both sides taking charges, stepping out of bounds, giving up loose balls.

Pitt has 4 turnovers in the half, St. John’s has 7. Panthers are winning the rebound battle, 32-28.

2H: 12:53: St. John’s 44, Pitt 42

Mo Gueye has kept the Panthers close all game with timely blocks and timely buckets.

Panthers have held St. John’s to just 31% from the field in the second half.

2H: 15:43: St. John’s 39, Pitt 34

Pitt is going to need Hugley to get going. After only playing six minutes in the first half, Hugley is still trying to find a rhythm inside. That’s an even tougher task because he’s getting doubled instantly.

Panthers are defending well, holding St. John’s to just 2-10 from the field (0-3 from 3) so far in the half.

2H: 18:43: St. John’s 36, Pitt 31

Posh Alexander with a strong start to the second half on a nice assist down low to a dunk.

Femi Odukale is up to four turnovers now. Struggling to take care of the ball at

HALF: St. John’s 34, Pitt 31

Game is looking eerily similar to a few of Pitt’s losses. Pitt is fighting hard, but is continuously turning the ball over and is struggling to convert on two-point buckets.

Two positives for Pitt are its three-point and free-throw shooting so far. The Panthers are 10-12 from the FT line and 3-6 from three-point land.

John Hugley only played 6 minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls. Capel sat him for the last 13+ minutes of the half and looked to Noah Collier for help down low.

Panthers have 11 first half turnovers, but the Johnnies are struggling to make anything out of them with just 7 points off those TOs. St. John’s has definitely cooled off shooting wise, and defensively is not putting the same amount of pressure on the Panthers.

STATS (PITT):

Gueye: 7 pts, 2-2 FG, 4 reb

Odukale: 6 pts, 1-5 FG, 1 reb

Burton: 6 pts, 2-7 FG, 2 reb

STATS (ST. JOHN’S):

Soriano: 8 pts, 3-3 FG, 4 reb

Alexander: 6 pts, 3-7 FG, 1 reb

1H: 7:40: 25-21, St. John’s

Mo Gueye and Onye Ezeakudo both knocked down threes to cut the Johnnies’ lead to just 4.
 
Gueye is leading Pitt with 5.
 
Panthers switched to a zone midway through the half and have looked better on defense, forced a few TOs.
Johnnies are just hot as ever on offense. Shooting 53% from the field, 63% from three.
Pitt is 3-4 from deep, but just 6-16 overall.

1H: 13:55: 11-10 Pitt

Johnnies are doubling John Hugley as soon as he touches the ball. Hugley found Odukale and Jeffress outside on the wing after the doubles came, but only Jeffress converted on his three.

Dan Oladapo subbed in for Hugley.

Pitt leads 11-10.

1H: 16:05: 8-6 Pitt

Burton has four for Pitt, Gueye with two, Hugley with two. Hugley knocks down two FTs to give Pitt a two-point lead.

Johnnies are 2-3 from three.

1H: 18:15: 3-2 St. John’s

Johnnies open the scoring on a three-pointer from Wheeler. Burton follows it up with an open layup. Mo Gueye has one foul for Pitt.

STARTING LINEUPS

The starting lineups for Saturday’s game are listed below, per statbroadcast.com.

Pitt

Femi Odukale

Jamarius Burton

William Jeffress

Mo Gueye

John Hugley

St. John’s

Posh Alexander

Dylan Addae-Wusu

Montez Marthis

Aaron Wheeler

Esahia Nyiwe

PREGAME

UPDATE: As reported earlier by several outlets, PSN can now confirm Julian Champagnie will not be playing for St. John’s, as he is not out with the team during warmups. A source told PSN that Pitt learned of Champagnie’s positive COVID test yesterday.

UPDATE: Pitt warms up before the game.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Duquesne WBB

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