Young Saves the Day for Pitt, 58-51 over USC

In one of the more ugly games of the early NCAA basketball seasons, Pitt outlasted South Carolina, 58-51. The win puts the Panthers at 10-0 for the second straight season and gives Pitt arguably its first quality win of the year.

In a game where neither team seemingly wanted to take control, Pittsburgh outlasted South Carolina behind arguably the unlikeliest of heroes.

A freshmen.

An early second half surge fueled by Fort Washington (Md.) native Sam Young, whose 16 points helped keep the Panthers (10-0) undefeated, gave Pitt the 58-51 victory over South Carolina in Columbia, Wednesday.

Young's performance saved the Panthers from an overall sluggish performance as they shot less than 40 percent for the game and finished 19 points below their season's scoring average.

After a jumper by Keith Benjamin early in the second half gave Pitt its first lead, 24-22, Young added six consecutive points for the Panthers - a three point play and a three-pointer - in a span of three minutes to put Pitt ahead for good.

Four straight free-throws from Young put the lead at 9.

In addition to the 16 points the freshmen added off the bench, he also pulled down 7 rebounds, including a huge rebound late in the second half off of a Ronald Ramon shot clock expiring hail mary, with Pitt leading by just four points.

The long rebound gave Pitt the ball back and another opportunity, which Carl Krauser would take full advantage of, eventually ending the possession with a driving layup to maintain control for the Panthers.

Pittsburgh closed things out at the foul line, making 11 of its final 12 attempts.

Krauser added 15 points, 11 in the second half, and junior Aaron Gray had 13 rebounds.

South Carolina's Tre Kelley led the Gamecocks with 18 points while Antoine Tisby had 12 points. One of the most glaring weaknesses for South Carolina was on the boards where Pittsburgh held a 38-22 advantage.

When the horn sounded in Columbia (SC), Pitt had matched its start from last season and kept on the trail of the school's 18-0 start from 2003-04.

The associated press helped contribute to this article

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