BOSTON (AP) — Michael Young felt like he had a very favorable matchup. That was all that Pitt needed to end a rough stretch.
Young scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half, and the Panthers snapped an eight-game losing streak with an 83-72 win over Boston College Wednesday night in a match of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s bottom two teams.
“The whole game I felt like I had a pretty good mismatch against them,” Young said. “It was just about not forcing anything and playing good basketball.”
Jamel Artis, the ACC’s leading scorer, had only six points for the Panthers (13-11, 2-9) after spraining his right ankle early in the game. Sheldon Jeter had 17 and Chris Jones 14.
It was the Panthers’ first win since their second ACC game — an 88-76 upset over then-No. 11 Virginia on Jan. 4
Coach Kevin Stallings felt like his team could be in for another tough night after watching Artis go down.
“Nineteen seconds into the game it looked like 20 points might be finished for the night,” Stallings said. “If it weren’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck. Fortunately he was able to come back. He told me he was much better at halftime.”
Jerome Robinson led the Boston College (9-16, 2-10) with 22 points. Ky Bowman had 15 points and Mo Jeffers a season-high 14. It was the Eagles’ eighth straight loss.
“We didn’t have anybody leading the way to seize it — Mo — but I don’t know if there was enough people with him,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “There wasn’t enough emotion, there wasn’t enough passion to play. It’s my team, so it’s on me. The reality is a lot of it is on them. Coaches don’t do all that. Players do that, especially in February. It’s my team. I have to find a way to get through to them.”
Tied at halftime, Pittsburgh outscored the Eagles 9-2 in the initial 2:15 of the second half, but BC sliced it to 43-37 before the Panthers went on an 11-3 run over the ensuing three minutes. Young’s 3-pointer made it 54-40 with 12:35 to play.
Artis, who entered scoring 20.7 per game, injured his ankle trying to grab a loose ball under the basket 19 seconds into the game. He didn’t score his first points until nailing a 3-pointer from the left wing nearly four minutes into the second half.
After he got hurt, he hopped up the five steps on one leg behind the basket before taking a seat about 25 feet away from the court. He was joined by his teammates and a trainer. He came back for only five minutes in the first half, but was ineffective.
BC had opened a nine-point lead late into the first half, but Pitt tied it at 31 at halftime.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers were due for a road win after playing well in road losses against three ranked conference teams this season: Louisville, Duke and North Carolina.
Boston College: The early-season buzz of winning two conference games in their first four has completely faded away for the Eagles.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“It wouldn’t have mattered if we were playing the Golden State Warriors,” Stallings said. “We needed a win. It doesn’t matter when. When you go on a skid like we went on . we needed a win.”
Artis walked slowly down a hallway heading to the bus after the game, favoring his taped ankle.
“It’s better, but still hurts,” he said. “It was hurting for 10 minutes. The second half it loosened it. It’s kind of swollen right now.”
Likely because it was a matchup of the two worst teams in the conference, there was a very small showing in the stands – with it looking like an exhibition or early-season non-conference game against an unknown weak opponent.
Pittsburgh: At home against Syracuse on Saturday. Lost to the Orange at the Carrier Dome 77-66 on Jan. 7.
Boston College: Plays at Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Eagles play two of the next three away from Conte Forum.
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