NCAAB Game Recap - North Alabama at Pittsburgh
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:00 PM EST

Furm
76
Vill
68
F(OT)
Mich
84
GrgWas
61
F
Presb
55
Marq
74
F
InWor
80
NDSt
78
F(OT)
N AL
66
Pitt
71
F
W&M
64
ND
73
F
Radf
64
Duques
69
F
Wagn
79
Fairf
73
F
FlAtl
85
Tows
71
F
(N/A)
52
W MI
99
F
Maine
63
NCSU
82
F
BethC
70
Mia-FL
78
F
ETSU
76
Winth
74
F
SCar
67
Prov
76
F
Boston
62
E MI
80
F
UCDav
57
TXAMC
54
F(OT)
PVAM
67
Lamar
74
F
OlDom
65
KennSt
47
F
NWSt
74
Rice
102
F
(N/A)
66
NIU
73
F
TxSt
69
Drake
75
F
NFla
72
WriSt
89
F
YSU
61
Ford
67
F
Albany
75
Canis
66
F
UMassL
92
Army
85
F
(N/A)
58
N DA
112
F
South
65
GMas
69
F
Corn
86
NJIT
73
F
(N/A)
55
WCU
94
F
Drex
89
LaSal
84
F
MorSt
70
WIGB
87
F
UNCA
52
CoCar
78
F
Stetsn
57
SeLA
69
F
Mont
73
MiaO
71
F
MTSt
69
UCSB
88
F
NrthIA
90
E KY
85
F
Chat
42
SEMO
63
F
SJSU
72
CSBak
73
F
MD-ES
34
N TX
68
F
Colum
87
FlInt
98
F
NMSt
98
NM
94
F
SacHr
77
Brown
82
F
AlaAM
60
BYU
91
F
UMKC
80
E WA
87
F(OT)
(N/A)
53
UCRiv
63
F
Lipsco
79
SMU
73
F
Manh
53
NoKY
59
F
MsVl
59
RobM
68
F
(N/A)
61
TNSt
113
F
Yale
102
Mem
109
F(2OT)
GaSo
88
Pepp
78
F
StLou
66
Seton
64
F
Brad
70
IL-C
71
F
W IL
66
E IL
68
F(OT)
HBU
59
Wisc
96
F
ArkPB
48
SIU
78
F
Jacksn
71
SthAL
48
F
HiPt
59
UMBC
68
F
Stony
72
Norf
65
F
Portl
80
CSNor
77
F
(N/A)
61
PorSt
125
F

Pittsburgh 71, North Alabama 66

Nov 17, 2018, 12:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

North Alabama (1-3)

33

33

66

Pittsburgh (5-0)

29

42

71

Johnson's 23 helps Pitt hold off upstart N. Alabama, 71-66
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:19 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) - As one of two new Division I programs in 2018-19, not many had high expectations for North Alabama this year.

But these Lions can put up a fight. Facing a major-conference opponent for the first time in program history, North Alabama was up to the task, forcing a tight contest with Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.

The talent level of the Panthers won out in the end, with Pitt (5-0) pulling ahead late for a 71-66 victory. But the Lions (1-3) certainly made an impression.

"I'm really proud of our team for finding a way to win when we weren't at our best, and we weren't at our best because of North Alabama," Pitt coach Jeff Capel said.

North Alabama led by four at the half and played a frustrating, scrappy defense that held the Panthers to a season-low 39 percent shooting.

"I thought they played really, really hard and they pressured us," Capel said. "We had to work harder offensively to get into stuff. That's the first time we've faced pressure like that, I thought that threw us off we weren't as connected."

Freshman point guard Xavier Johnson was the difference-maker for the Panthers. He led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, including several driving layups as the teams traded baskets down the stretch and a pair of free throws that iced the victory in the final seconds.

Kendarius Smith (19 points) and Jamari Blackmon (13 points) paced a more-balanced Lions attack. North Alabama had nine different players find the net and led in bench points, 22-9.

Pitt's fortunes in the paint improved when forward Emanuel Littles fouled out with just over five minutes remaining. He had a game-high 10 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

North Alabama: The Lions also played a tight contest at Saint Louis, and don't seem intimidated by an unfriendly atmosphere. Their level of competitiveness bodes well for their chances in the Atlantic Sun, where they were picked last in the conference's preseason poll.

"To hold them at 39 percent from the field and 17 percent from the 3-point line, that's a plus for us," Lions coach Tony Pujol said. "To be pound-for-pound on the boards with a team like this is a plus for us."

Pitt: The Panthers had their worst shooting game of the season and didn't get their usual level of contribution from senior wing Jared Wilson-Frame. The team's leading scorer, he came in averaging 21.3 points and five made 3-pointers per game, but was held to nine points and 1 for 6 from outside the arc.

YOUNG LEADER

With Pitt's first four games ending in solid victories, it was the first time Johnson has been asked to lead the offense in a tight contest down the stretch.

"`X' is obviously a great player," said Pitt captain Malik Ellison. "The ball is going to be in his hands. He makes great decisions with it."

TIRED LEGS

The game was the third in five days and second in under 48 hours for the Panthers, and their inability to finish at the rim might have been influenced by some tired legs.

"This was the end of an energy cycle for us," Capel said. "When you add those elements against a team that's hungry, we were in the position that we were in."

UP NEXT

North Alabama: Hosts NAIA Martin Methodist on Tuesday.

Pitt: Will leave home for the first time this season when they face Saint Louis in New York on Wednesday.

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Leaders

North Alabama PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
P. Youngblood 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. King 0 0 0 1 0 0
Pittsburgh PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
P. Ilegomah 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Brown 0 0 0 1 0 1

Team Comparison

N AL Pitt
Points For 66 71
Field Goals 24/60-40% 19/49-39%
Three Pointers 10/31-32% 2/12-17%
Free Throws 8/13-62% 31/42-74%
Offensive Rebounds 8 5
Defensive Rebounds 30 30
Rebounds 41 39
Blocks 3 5
Steals 2 3
Turnovers 15 8
Personal Fouls 27 16
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2018-2019 Regular Season - Pitt Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sat Nov 17 N AL 66 @ Pitt 71 C. Dutreil 1 K. Chukwuka 6

Game Information

Stadium: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 3,540
Game Time: