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July 10, 2012

Johnson hits a game-winner Monday night

The final week of regular-season play in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer Pro-Am kicked off Monday night, as two of the bottom teams faced off, two winning teams matched up, and a bevy of Pitt veterans returned to the court.

Steel City Tickets 78, SPK Law 77

Steel City Tickets landed its first victory of the season Monday night when Pitt redshirt freshman Durand Johnson pulled off an up-and-under lay-up with four seconds left on the clock. SCT needed every bit of that time on the clock, as the team trailed for virtually the entire game.

In fact, after SPK went ahead 7-6 with around 16 minutes left in the first half, the team that entered Monday night 1-3 never looked back. SPK led by as many as 10 points in the final 10 minutes of the game and had a six-point lead with a minute remaining. But West Liberty's Mike Lamberti and Pitt-Johnstown guard Nick Novak drained a pair of three-point shots before Johnson sealed the victory.

Johnson and Pitt senior Dante Taylor each scored 18 points in the victory, with Taylor notching his first double-double of the summer by adding 18 rebounds. Novak had a game-high 20 points, as did Youngstown State's Shawn Amiker, who scored 20 for SPK. Pitt's Talib Zanna scored 14 points and recorded eight rebounds, while Pitt freshman Chris Jones had 11 points in the loss.

With one regular-season game remaining, SCT and SPK both have records of 1-4.

PGT Trucking 67, Oliverio's Peppers 56

PGT took off from the start and never looked back as the pre-league favorite notched another victory Monday night. After Peppers scored the first three baskets of the game to take a 7-0 lead, PGT exploded for an 18-0 run and finished the first half with a 36-19 lead.

The run was powered by Pitt stars Lamar Patterson (four points), Steven Adams (four points), James Robinson (two points), and Trey Zeigler (four points), and the Panthers continued to roll as the game progressed.

While Peppers cut into PGT's lead in the second half, the short-handed squad - which had to requisition some help from Zanna - couldn't overtake the powerful PGT roster. Patterson had another near-triple-double with 18 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, while Adams recorded his third double-double of the summer with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Zeigler also hit double figures with 15 points, while Zanna grabbed 13 rebounds to go with his nine points for Peppers. Duquesne's Ovie Soko had a game-high 17 points.

PGT improves to 4-1 with the win, while Peppers drops to 3-3.

South Hills Audi 85, UPMC 80

The night concluded with the return of one of Pitt's great point guards as Levance Fields joined the Pitt alumni team for the nightcap and helped lead South Hills Audi to victory.

Playing without double-double machine Chevon Troutman, South Hills Audi instead got 20 points and 10 rebounds from John DeGroat along with 23 points and six assists from Fields. Former Panthers Gilbert Brown and Keith Benjamin had 15 points and 10 points, respectively, while UPMC was led by Robert Morris' Anthony Myers, who scored 19.

The win was South Hills Audi's second of the summer, while UPMC fell to 3-2.

Top performers
John DeGroat - 20 points, 10 rebounds, 6/11 FG
Levance Fields - 23 points, 6 assists
Nick Novak - 20 points, 9/11 FG, 2/2 3-point FG
Shawn Amiker - 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8/12 FG
Anthony Myers - 19 points, 7/13 FG, 4/6 3-point FG
Dante Taylor - 18 points, 18 rebounds
Durand Johnson - 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
Lamar Patterson - 16 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists
Steve Adams - 11 points, 11 rebounds

1. GNC 4-1
2. PGT Trucking 4-1
3. UPMC 3-2
4. Oliverio's Peppers 3-3
5. South Hills Audi 2-3
6. Steel City Tickets 1-4
7. SPK Law 1-4

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