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June 25, 2013

Play opens in Greentree summer league

The 2013 Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league kicked off Monday night at the Greentree Sportsplex. It was an exciting start to the summer as all three contests went down to the wire.

PGT 76, Oliverio Peppers 72

Though three Pitt players did the heavy lifting, it was a pair of Robert Morris teammates that highlighted the win. Dave Appolon's alley-oop feed to Desjuan Newton with seven second left sealed PGT's victory over Oliverio's Peppers.

With the game tied at 72 after a Talib Zanna free throw, OP's Chris Jones drove to the bucket but was unable to finish. That allowed Appolon and Newton to hook up for a thunderous transition dunk that ignited the crowd.

Zanna led all scorers with 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the win. The Pitt senior looked strong in the post while also getting a number of baskets on the fast break.

His best stretch came at the end of the first half. Zanna scored nine straight points for his team to end the half including a three-pointer and a transition basket after sprinting down the floor past his defender. He also put PGT up 45-38 at half with a put-back at the buzzer, netting 21 of his points and pulling down 12 of his boards in the first 22 minutes.

A pair of Pitt guards, Jones and James Robinson battled each other all game. Robinson racked up 25 points - including a pair of clutch free throws to bring the game within one late - and dished out seven assists in the win. Jones finished with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists.

SPK 84, UPMC 78

His debut wasn't as hyped as the big man in Pitt's last recruiting class, but Mike Young held his own in his first Greentree summer league game. The incoming Pitt freshman scored 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting and snagged 10 rebounds in SPK's opening night win.

Young stood tall in the paint, converting a number of easy baskets and draw contact from defenders. He also ran well in transition including a pull up jumper early in the second half to tie the game at 40. The freshman also displayed great vision in the post when he found a cutting Lamar Patterson for an and-one play to give SPK a 58-55 lead.

Patterson led SPK with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. He also came through in crunch time after UPMC cut the lead to four with 20 seconds left. The redshirt senior made 2 of his 4 total free throws, but also stole an inbounds pass from UPMC to stop the comeback attempt.

Lucky Jones of Robert Morris led UPMC with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Incoming Pitt freshman Jamel Artis chipped in 16 points and seven boards, and fellow frosh Josh Newkirk added 12 points and five assists.

Though UPMC was trailing by nine points with under a minute left to go, the Pitt freshmen helped make it a game. Newkirk's three-pointer made it 82-76. Then, Artis hit a long jumper - with his toe on the three-point line - to make it a four-point game before Patterson sealed the win.

The Lair 87, GNC 86

With 20 seconds left in the night's final game and The Lair down by three, Duquesne's L.G. Gill converted a four-point play to win the nightcap.

After Duquesne's Derrick Colter hit a pair of free throws to put GNC up three points. The Lair pushed the ball up the floor frantically looking for an opportunity to tie the game.

Gill got the ball out past the left wing and launched an ill-advised three toward the basket as Robert Morris guard Karvel Anderson made contact with the body. The 6-foot-6 Gill stepped to the line, knocked down the free throw and put his team up for good.

GNC would get one more opportunity at the other end, but Colter's pull up three-pointer didn't fall.

Duquesne's Ovie Soko led The Lair with 22 points including an and-one conversion with 27 seconds left to pull his team within three. Gill and Clarion's Aaron Johnson each chipped in 16 points.

Despite committing the decisive foul, Anderson led GNC with 23 points. Colter finished with the games only double-double, netting 10 points and dishing out 10 assists in the loss.

1. SPK 1-0
2. PGT 1-0
3. The Lair 1-0
4. GNC 0-1
5. Oliverio Peppers 0-1
6. UPMC 0-1

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