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Lions fall to Pittsburgh in game five of six-game road swing.
Dec. 6, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Playing their fifth straight road game in a stretch of six in a row, LMU men's basketball went into a place that has not been kind to visitors. And for the 128th time in 132 non-conference games, Pittsburgh came away with a win, using stellar shooting throughout to earn an 85-68 win over the Lions Friday night at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt, who improved to 128-10 in non-conference home games under 11th-year Head Coach Jamie Dixon, had five players in double figures, led by Cameron Wright with 14. Durand Johnson and Talib Zanna had 12 each.
Senior Anthony Ireland led all scorers with 20 points, scoring 14 in the second half. Freshman Gabe Levin earned his fourth double-double of the season and second in a row with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Evan Payne and Ben Dickinson also scored in double figures, adding 16 and 10, respectively.
"Pitt is a very, very good team," said Head Coach Max Good. "We went and beat Notre Dame when they had won over 40 in a row at home, and did the same to BYU, who had lost three times in 100 games or so. So we have a program that can go on the road and get big wins. But down the stretch when we went on somewhat of a run and needed that big stop, we kind of froze just a enough that cost us. And when you do that, good teams make you pay. They did that."
Pitt (9-0) shot 58.3 percent from the field and used a 62.5 percent clip in the second half to pull away from the Lions (6-3). Meanwhile, the Lions shot 38.8 percent for the game, hitting just 35.1 percent in the second half. LMU out rebounded the Panthers 37-35 thanks in large part to Levin's fourth 14-rebound game in just his ninth college basketball game.
The lead changed hands six times in the early minutes and Alex Osborne cut the Panther lead to one, 16-15, just over eight minutes into the game. Pitt began to pull away, going up 35-23 on a Johnson dunk with 4:25 to play. The Lions trailed by 11, 40-29, at the break. They would hit the first field goal of the second half to cut the lead to nine, but would go just 1-for-12 to start the half as the lead grew to 19 before the Lions hit their second field goal of the half on a lay-in by Ireland with 11:24 to play.
LMU cut it to low as 14 on a Levin lay-in but would get no closer.
LMU ends its six-game road swing when they head to Valparaiso on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 am (PT).