No. 1 PBC 104 No. 6 Center Court 96
Top-seed PBC, thanks in part to big games from Duquesne's T.J. McConnell and Mike Talley, was able to defeat No. 6 seed Center Court somewhat handedly on Tuesday night. In the second round game, PBC carried a nine-point halftime lead all the way to a 104-96 victory. PBC now advances to the Pro Am championship game.
It was a relatively quiet night for the Pitt players competing in the first game of the Tuesday's action, as the trio of Khem Birch, John Johnson, and J.J. Moore seemed to be kept under control for the majority of the game. Of the three, however, Birch had the most impressive game, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 block. Birch seemed to carry his momentum from Monday night's game and parlay it into another strong outing. He was very aggressive on offense and displayed the exceptional hustle required to finish plays around the hoop. If Birch can bring this Pitt team some size, ability, and hustle, he could very well rack up more minutes than many may project.
Monday night's star, J.J. Moore, recorded his worst game of the season on Tuesday, registering 8 points and 8 rebounds. Moore never quite seemed to get into the flow of his game, and was 0-5 from beyond the arc. Moore's sidekick, John Johnson, also had somewhat of an off night, shooting just 4-9 from the field. Johnson finished the game with 11 points and 5 assists, most of those points coming with the game well out of reach. Johnson also seemed to be a little hesitant throughout the game, as he never really drove the ball to the hoop, something that fans have become accustomed to seeing from him.
McConnell and Talley were the stars of the game for PBC, contributing 12 and 20 points, respectively. McConnell had one of his best all-around games, as he added 10 assists and 5 rebounds to his stat line. Talley was on fire all night, connecting on 8-11 shots from the field, including 4-7 from three-point range.
Former Edinboro star Jakim Donaldson had 18 points and 14 rebounds for PBC. Youngstown State's Kendrick Perry also chipped in 24 points and 8 rebounds. Former Pitt Panther Gilbert Brown had 19 points for Center Court.
Center Court has now been eliminated from the PBC Pro Am playoffs.
No. 4 SPK Law 93 No. 2 PGT 85
SPK Law, without the services of Pitt's Ashton Gibbs, held a 13-point halftime lead, and was able to hold off a late comeback attempt from PGT in order to steal a 93-85 victory over its higher ranked opponent. SPK Law now advances to play the No. 1 seed PBC in the championship game.
SPK Law was able to get very strong games out of one current, and one former Pitt player, as Lamar Patterson and Gary McGhee had very good nights. Patterson finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and seemed to be all over the place for SPK Law. He also proved to be a very clutch player at the end of the game, as he connected on 8-11 free throws. McGhee added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and looked very solid doing so. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and looked the part of a professional athlete.
In the loss, PGT received a very solid effort from Pitt freshman Malcolm Gilbert. Gilbert ended the game with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Gilbert continues to prove that he can play defense on the collegiate level, as he was manning the paint with authority.
Pitt's Cameron Wright had an above-average game, contributing 13 points on 5-12 shooting, connecting on just 1-5 from beyond the arc. Wright has a real knack for getting to the hoop and finishing, he just needs to work a little more on his outside game. If he can bring it all together, Wright will be a very good player for Jamie Dixon's squad.
The hands-down star of the night was Youngstown State's DuShawn Brooks. In his team's victory, Brooks had 29 points and 8 rebounds. Brooks is a very versatile player that plays very well in the paint or on the perimeter. If Youngstown State is going to be a factor in the Horizon League this season, Brooks is going to be a large part of their success.
PGT has now been eliminated from the playoffs.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
8 pm: SPK Law vs. PBC