NCAAB Game Recap - Monmouth at Pittsburgh
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:00 PM EST

ChaSo
46
MSU
94
F
UtVal
74
KY
82
F
Stetsn
51
OhSt
86
F
TexSA
50
UtSt
82
F
Colg
62
Aub
91
F
UCIrv
53
Colora
69
F
Wilbe
79
SCSt
103
F
N CO
61
WVU
69
F
(N/A)
39
NFla
115
F
Presb
53
ND
63
F
SMU
59
Evans
57
F
CarBi
57
Troy
84
F
W&M
70
Okla
75
F
Monm
50
Pitt
63
F
Hartfo
50
Oakl
60
F
Bry
73
Niag
62
F
App
41
UNCG
55
F
LongI
92
DelSt
84
F
MidTN
72
CoCar
93
F
(N/A)
58
CenMI
115
F
FaDi
65
Army
81
F
USC-Up
45
Akr
76
F
Eccle
55
South
121
F
(N/A)
51
McNee
103
F
HiPt
51
Belm
90
F
(N/A)
68
Leh
87
F
Campv
66
W Ky
109
F
(N/A)
61
E IL
114
F
SIU-E
56
SDak
71
F
JackSt
58
TxSt
73
F
Longw
48
NIU
65
F
Bacon
38
UMKC
111
F
Woff
56
Mizzu
75
F
HI
53
Ill
66
F
AF
54
TCU
65
F
MTTec
74
Mont
72
F
(N/A)
65
TNSt
99
F
AbCh
58
UNLV
72
F
PVAM
50
Cal
54
F
S UT
61
UCLA
76
F

Nov 18, 2019, 7:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

Monmouth (1-4)

19

31

50

Pittsburgh (3-2)

21

42

63

Xavier Johnson's strong second half leads Pitt over Monmouth
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:40 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) After a promising first season under head coach Jeff Capel in 2018-19, Pitt’s offense has started his second in a prolonged slump.

Despite returning three of their top four scorers, the Panthers entered play on Monday shooting 38.7% from the floor, down almost three percent from a year ago.

In Pitt’s first half against Monmouth on Monday, the Panthers started the game by making just one of their first nine and three of their first 17 field goals.

In the second half, the offense of a year ago returned. Sophomore point guard Xavier Johnson broke out of a personal slump, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the Panthers to a 63-50 victory.

After Pitt (3-2) slogged through the first 20 minutes, they led the visiting Hawks by just a single point, and that was only possible thanks to a 10-for-10 mark at the charity stripe.

Capel even benched Johnson at one point for walk-on Onyebuchi Ezeakudo.

Eventually, the Panthers found their game, thanks to Johnson not only scoring, but also distributing. He had nine of Pitt’s 13 assists and seven of them came in the second half.

“Offensively, we’ve struggled to find a rhythm,” Capel said. “It was good to see him do some things and get back to who he is.”

For Johnson, the struggle has been about managing expectations after he surprised as a freshman in 2018-19.

“I put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “I’m in a deep struggle right now, still, but I’m trying to break out of it.’

Monmouth (1-4) found outside success from guard Ray Salnave, who had 10 points and was 2 for 5 from 3-point range, and inside with forward Mustapha Traore, who was 5 of 10 from the floor for 12 points.

BIG PICTURE

For Monmouth, the light is at the end of the tunnel. The Hawks began the 2019-20 season by playing five consecutive true road games. They’ll now play a pair of neutral-site matchups before finally starting the home portion of their schedule on Nov. 26.

After starting the season with a win over Lehigh, the scheduled has toughened, as well. The loss to Pitt was the Hawks’ fourth straight, three of which came on the home floors of high-major opponents. But that��s part of the plan for head coach King Rice.

“When I took over Monmouth nine years ago, I said I will play at any building,” Rice said. “My school does not make me do that. When you recruit, you recruit kids that think they should be on high major clubs, so I tell them in recruiting that we’re going to play two or three of them.”

Under Capel, Pitt has often relied on an ability to get to the free-throw line. Pitt attempted 26 free throws to Monmouth’s eight. But that ability has only showed itself in fits and spurts as the Panthers stumbled to a 2-2 record in their first four games of the season.

“We’re constantly trying to drive and get paint touches,” Capel said. “When you have good spacing, good movement and some guys that are pretty good off the bounce, you’re able to get that at times.”

UP NEXT

Monmouth: Is scheduled to participate in the MAAC-ASun Challenge for two games in Orlando, Florida, starting with Kennesaw State on Friday.

Pitt: Will continue the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off with another home game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Leaders

Monmouth PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Vaughan 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Traore 12 0 0 4 3 0
Pittsburgh PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
O. Ezeakudo 0 0 0 1 1 0
T. McGowens 16 0 2 6 0 0

Team Comparison

Monm Pitt
Points For 50 63
Field Goals 19/51-37% 19/48-40%
Three Pointers 5/18-28% 4/16-25%
Free Throws 7/8-88% 21/26-81%
Offensive Rebounds 8 12
Defensive Rebounds 18 24
Rebounds 29 39
Blocks 4 2
Steals 8 4
Turnovers 16 15
Personal Fouls 22 12
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - Pitt Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Mon Nov 18 Monm 50 @ Pitt 63 G. Gabriel 2 R. Murphy 2

Game Information

Stadium: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 6,753
Game Time: