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Monmouth holds on to win at Pittsburgh

Sportsnaut
Dec 12, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Monmouth Hawks guard Shavar Reynolds (33) and forward Klemen Vuga (middle) double team Pittsburgh Panthers forward John Hugley (23) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Monmouth Hawks guard Shavar Reynolds (33) and forward Klemen Vuga (middle) double team Pittsburgh Panthers forward John Hugley (23) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

George Papas had 17 points and five assists, and Shavar Reynolds scored 14 points as visiting Monmouth defeated cold-shooting Pittsburgh, 56-52, in a nonconference game Sunday night.

Marcus McClary scored 10 points for the Hawks (8-2), who are 6-2 in true road games this season. Those six wins are the most of any Division 1 team in the nation.

Jamarius Burton scored 15 points, and Femi Odukale and John Hugley each had 14 for Pittsburgh (3-7), which rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit and got within three in the final minute.

Hugley had 13 rebounds for the Panthers, who are 3-5 at home this season.

After trailing 42-23, the Panthers crept back to within 46-37 on a 9-0 run that ended with two foul shots by Hugley with 8:36 to go. But Reynolds had the answer, a three-pointer from the left corner that put Monmouth in front, 49-37 with 7:53 to go.

Burton’s straightaway three-pointer with 3:12 to go cut Monmouth’s lead to 53-48, but Reynolds made two free throws 18 seconds later to increase the Hawks’ lead to 55-48.

Pitt cut the deficit to 55-50 on two foul shots by Hugley with 1:23 to go.

Pittsburgh got the ball back after Papas missed a contested three-point attempt, and Burton hit a jumper in the lane with 28 seconds to go. The Panthers had to give four fouls to get Monmouth into the one-and-one, and Papas made the first with 6.6 seconds to go before missing the second, giving Monmouth its final margin of victory.

Pittsburgh shot 34 percent from the field for the game, and 15.4 percent from three-point range.

William Jeffress scored on an assist from Burton on Pittsburgh’s second possession to give the Panthers a quick 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh didn’t convert another basket until Hugley’s power move in the lane with 5:28 left in the half, trimming the Panthers’ deficit to 21-11.

The Hawks’ advantage grew to 36-19 at halftime on Papas’ three-pointer with seven seconds to go before the break.

–Field Level Media