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July 18, 2013

Artis free throws seal win Wendesday

Wednesday night marked the regular-season finale for the 2013 Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am summer league with the games played at Montour High School. Jamel Artis was one of two current Pitt players with a double-double, and his free throws sealed a victory for his team.

P&W BMW 94, The Lair 71

Since losing its first game, P&W BMW has been on fire this summer, and nothing changed in the season finale.

Nolan Cressler led with 22 points, and Chevron Troutman recorded a double-double as P&W BMW won its fifth straight game. With a 5-1 mark, the squad also locked up the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with its tie-breaker win over SPK.

Cressler continued his hot shooting, netting 9 of 15 shots from the field including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. Troutman finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, maintained his dominating, physical play.

P&W used opportunistic defense and fundamentally sound offense to open leads of 22-9 and 35-20 before settling on a nine-point lead at halftime. Lance Jeter controlled the pace by distributing the ball for seven assists. He also added seven points on the night.

The closest The Lair could get in the second half was a seven-point deficit. P&W used a 44-22 rebounding advantage and 51.3 percent shooting from the field to create number of small runs to extend its lead over the 20-point mark.

West Virginia's Devin Williams led The Lair with 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field. Duquesne's Ovie Soko added 17 points and eight rebounds on the night.

By earning the top playoff seed, P&W has a bye on Monday. The team will play the lowest remaining seed on Tuesday.

Oliverio's Peppers 76, GNC 72

Free throws can decide basketball games, and an incoming Pitt freshman found that out first hand in the night's second game.

Jamel Artis - guest staring for Oliverio's Peppers while his UPMC team had a bye - hit a pair of free throws with eight seconds left, putting Oliverio's Peppers up four points and effectively sealing the victory.

GNC held the lead for the majority of the second half, but things got much closer towards the game's finish. Brandon Watkins hit a reverse layup with just over a minute left put Oliverio's Peppers up 73-72.

Duquesne's Jordan Robinson had a chance to regain the lead for GNC, but couldn't convert on either of his free throws. Robert Morris' Stephen Hawkins grabbed the rebound on the second miss, but he couldn't hit a 12-foot jump shot to grab the lead.

Pitt's Chris Jones hit the front-end of his one-and-one to put Oliverio's Peppers up two with 18 seconds left. GNC's Derrick Colter tried to respond but missed a runner off the backboard. Artis grabbed the miss before making both free throws of a one-and-one.

Watkins led Oliverio's Peppers with 24 points while Artis chipped in a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jones added nine points, all coming in the second half.

Hawkins paced GNC with 21 points on 10 of 16 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. Colter tallied 19 points as fellow Duquesne teammates Darius Lewis flirted with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

SPK 77, PGT 76

James Robinson made his return to the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am after winning his second gold medal in the FIBA U19 Championship, but his summer league finale didn't end quite as well.

Robinson's potential game-winning shot and Lijah Thompson's put-back attempt both missed in the last seconds as SPK came away with the win. SPK's victory also ensured it the No. 2 seed for next week's playoffs.

Robert Morris forward Jerimiah Worthern hit a baseline jumper to put SPK up by one with 20 seconds left. Robinson brought the ball up the court and drove left, but he was cut off by SPK's Kendrick Perry.

Robinson threw up an off-balance, fall-away shot that missed the rim, but Thompson flew through the air to grab the errant shot. Thompson immediately put the ball back up just before the buzzer, but it rolled along the rim before falling off to the right side.

Pitt freshman Mike Young scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds for SPK, which was again without Lamar Patterson who's nursing a minor injury. Worthern added 18 points and eight rebounds in the win.

With 52 seconds left, a pair of Worthern free throws put SPK up 75-71. Robinson pushed the ball up the floor, quickly getting to the rim and converting the basket while drawing a blocking foul on Worthern.

PGT took its final lead when Robinson stole SPK side-inbound. He passed the ball up to Britton Lee who found Desjuan Newton for an alley-oop to put PGT up 76-75 before Worthern hit the game winner.

PGT's Talib Zanna recorded another double-double - his sixth in six games for PGT this summer - scoring 21 points and pulling down 14 boards. Robinson was also impressive in his return, tallying 18 points, dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds.

Final Standings
1. P&W BMW 5-1
2. SPK Law 5-1
3. PGT Trucking 3-3
4. The Lair 3-3
5. UPMC 2-4
6. Oliverio's Peppers 2-4
7. GNC 1-5

Playoff schedule
Monday, July 22
Greentree SportsPlex

No. 2 SPK Law vs. No. 7 GNC, 7 p.m.
No. 4 The Lair vs. No. 5 UPMC, 8 p.m.
No. 3 PGT Trucking vs. No. 6 Oliverio's Peppers, 9 p.m.

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