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July 1, 2013

Pitt freshman scores 33 Monday

Offense was king on Monday night during night three of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league at the Greentree SportsPlex. A number of teams - and Pitt players - put up big numbers during the action.

SPK 96, Oliverio's Peppers 79

Four players scored in double figures - including Lamar Patterson's double-double - as SPK remained undefeated on the summer.

Patterson led his team with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on the night. The redshirt senior shot well from the field, hitting 8 of 16 shots including a stellar 4 for 5 beyond the arc.

Shawn Amiker and Kendrick Perry each scored 15 points while Mike Young added 14 and seven rebounds. Young continued to show his versatile offensive arsenal. On back-to-back plays late in the first half, Young used a deft spin move to score in the post then slammed a huge dunk in transition on the next possession.

SPK controlled things from the tip. It jumped out to an 8-0 lead on a pair of threes from Amiker and Perry sandwiched around a steal and fast-break layup from Patterson. Oliverio's Peppers would cut the lead to 23-16 after a pair of three-pointers by Kameron Belian, but SPK outscored its opponent, 33-16, the rest of the half.

In the second half, it was more of the same, and SPK maintained a double-digit lead throughout the final 22 minutes. As the outcome became more and more clear, the game turned into a dunking expose during the last moments of the contest.

The Lair 100, UPMC 92

UPMC couldn't generate a lot of offense as a team Monday, so Josh Newkirk took things into his own hands.

The Pitt freshman scored 33 points in the second game, but his outmanned UPMC team couldn't hang physically with The Lair. UMPC missed a number of players including Pitt guard Durand Johnson. Still, Newkirk took things upon himself, converting 14 of 24 from the field and 3 for 4 from three-point range.

The freshman was able to penetrate the lane all night against The Lair's defense. His weakness in the two previous games was finishing in traffic around the rim, but he had no such problem this week. Using his quick first step and hesitation move to beat defenders of the dribble, Newkirk attacked the lane aggressively and finished at the basket.

Pitt's entire incoming class handled most of UPMC's scoring. Fellow freshman Jamel Artis finished with 27 points on 10 of 22 shooting. Mike Young - only playing the second half after running with the first game - added 13 points and six rebounds.

UPMC spent most of the game down by double figures as it struggled to defend the more athletic Lair team. The Lair had five players score at least ten points, led by Duquesne's Ovie Soko, who scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

South Hills Audi 90, PGT 83

On most nights, Talib Zanna's 37-point, 11-rebound performance would be the best line of the night.

Unfortunately for Zanna, this wasn't most nights.

Cornell's Nolan Cressler scored 38 points on an impressive 8 of 13 shooting beyond the arc to boost South Hills Audi over PGT in the night cap. Cressler's point total is the highest scoring game this summer. He also pulled down 10 boards

Still, Zanna dominated the much smaller South Hills Audi front court. The redshirt senior shot 16 of 20 from inside the arc while controlling both the paint and the glass. Despite Cressler's deadly long distance range, Zanna kept PGT close, scoring his team's first five points of the second half and building a 50-48 lead.

Shortly after that, Cressler broke the game wide open. Over the next seven minutes, The Cornell guard scored 15 points to lead South Hills Audi on a 21-4 run. PGT would draw the game within four points with just under three minutes left, but South Hills Audi used clutch free-throw shooting and shot-making to seal the win.

Along with Cressler's impressive night, South Hills Audi's Lance Jeter flirted with a triple-double, netting 15 points, dishing 10 assists and grabbing eight rebounds.

Robert Morris senior Elijah Thompson and Youngstown State's Mike Podolsky scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for PGT as the team - minus Zanna - shot just 35.7 percent from the field.

1. SPK 3-0
2. The Lair 2-0
3. PGT 2-1
4. South Hills Audi 1-1
5. Oliverio's Peppers 1-2
6. GNC 0-2
7. UPMC 0-3

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