Gibbs leads the way on Wednesday night
Wednesday night at the 2010 Pittsburgh Basketball Summer Pro-Am League saw a number of great performances from Pitt players, as Gilbert Brown, Ashton Gibbs and Dante Taylor each stood out for their teams, and Gary McGhee continued to impress in the paint.
The Lair 69, PGT 63
Talib Zanna won the night's opening tip to Brown, who took a few dribbles and threw down a thunderous dunk to set the tone. Brown slashed powerfully to the bucket all game and finished with 19 points.
"I just wanted to be aggressive and show everyone what I've been working on," said Brown, who drew a lot of cheers from the crowd with a couple acrobatic dunks.
After The Lair built a 15-point halftime lead, PGT went up by five on a 24-4 run in the middle of the second half. But The Lair ended the game on a 15-4 run of their own to secure the win.
McGhee and Zanna battled on the block all night, and neither would budge. McGhee triggered PGT's second-half run and finished with 21 points on eight-of-11 shooting and 6 rebounds. Zanna was a force for The Lair with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
"He's a dominant player, both rebounding and hustling. There's no one in the Big East that hustles more than him," Brown said of Zanna.
Robert Morris' Dallas Green posted 12 points, while incoming Duquesne freshman T.J. McConnell scored 11 and continued to show confidence running the point for The Lair. PGT's Lamar Patterson recorded 15 points and four assists in the losing effort.
Center Court 69, SPK 64
After a slow but solid first half, Ashton Gibbs torched the SPK Law defense in the second half with a mixture of dribble penetration and outside jump shots to lead Center Court to victory.
"I tried to be aggressive, do what my team needs and make plays when I needed to. I tried to be as good as I could on both offense and defense," Gibbs said. "I saw some holes in the defense in the second half and took advantage of the openings."
Gibbs sparked a 12-2 second half run with a fast-break dish to J.J. Richardson for a monstrous dunk. Gibbs had seven points and two assists on the run and finished with 21 points and seven assists.
For SPK, Brad Wannamaker scored 20 points and recorded four assists and Nasir Robinson had 12 points and five rebounds. The pair also hooked up on an alley-oop from Wannamaker to Robinson in the middle of the first half that drew a strong reaction from the other players watching.
Center Court also got strong play from their big men. Richardson scored 16 points and snatched nine boards, while Gannon's Kyle Goldcamp showed off his finesse game on his way to a 12-point, 12-rebound night.
UPMC 69, P&W 58
At one point in Wednesday's final game, P & W's Dwight Miller gathered in a loose ball under the basket, went up strong to the hole and clanged a failed dunk off the back iron; a few passes up the court put the ball in Dante Taylor's hands for an authoritative dunk on the other end.
That summed up the kind of night P&W had, as UPMC dominated their opponents from start to finish.
"We were able to control the ball and get everyone involved," Taylor said. "We were just having fun out there."
Taylor showed toughness and controlled the interior, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Duquesne's Bill Clark added 19 points and seven boards for UPMC
UPMC opened up a 32-18 lead at the half and never looked back. The closest P&W would get in the second half was seven with under two minutes left when the team desperately shot 3's to close the gap.
In one of the most surprising performances of the night P&W's Ryan Murray scored 19 points in a losing effort, shooting four of 10 beyond the arc.
Standings after Week One
Center Court - 2-0
UPMC - 2-0
The Lair - 1-1
SPK - 1-1
PGT - 0-2
P&W - 0-2
Wednesday's stat standouts
Ashton Gibbs - 22 points, 7 assists
Dante Taylor - 21 points, 7 rebounds
Brad Wanamaker - 20 points, 4 rebounds
Talib Zanna - 17 points, 11 rebounds
Gary McGhee - 21 points, 6 rebounds
J.J. Richardson - 16 points, 9 rebounds
Wednesday's top scorer
Ashton Gibbs - 22 points
Wednesday's top rebounder
Russell Johnson - 13 rebounds
Wednesday's top assists
Ashton Gibbs - 7 assists