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Pitt pulls away, cools off Fairleigh Dickinson’s offense

Nov 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers guard Jamarius Burton (11) dribbles the ball against Fairleigh Dickinson Knights forward Ansley Almonor (right) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jamarius Burton scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures Tuesday night for host Pittsburgh, which pulled away in the second half and beat Fairleigh Dickinson 83-61.

John Hugley IV scored 17 points while Jorge Diaz Graham, Blake Hinson and Nelly Cummings had 11 points apiece for Pitt (3-3), which outscored Fairleigh Dickinson 48-33 in the second half on its way to winning its second straight game.

Grant Singleton scored 11 points for Fairleigh Dickinson (3-4), which entered Tuesday averaging 86.5 points per game but shot just 36.5 percent (23 of 63) against Pitt.

Heru Bligen and Ansley Almonor had 10 points apiece for Fairleigh Dickinson, a member of the Northeast Conference.

Fairleigh Dickinson hung close in the first half, when the Knights held a trio of small leads and never trailed by more than seven. Pitt, which took the lead for good on a free throw by Hugley with 14:52 left, led 35-28 at the half after the two teams combined to go 0-for-6 with a turnover following a layup by Diaz-Graham with 1:52 left.

Pitt gradually put the game away in the second half. A jumper by Burton gave the Panthers their first double-digit lead at 44-34 with 17:02 left.

Singleton responded with a 3-pointer on Fairleigh Dickinson’s next trip, but Diaz-Graham scored six points in a 12-0 run — a span in which the Knights were 0-for-6 with four turnovers — that gave Pitt a 56-37 lead.

Fairleigh Dickinson cut the gap to 12 on a 3-pointer by Demetre Roberts with 7:24 left, but Nike Sibande hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to start a 7-0 spurt that extended Pitt’s lead to 19 again at 71-52. The Panthers led by as many as 23 down the stretch.

The game was just the teams’ second meeting. The Panthers recorded an 86-63 victory on Nov. 14, 2008.

–Field Level Media