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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Bryce Dulin scored 18 points, Shawn Anderson added 15 and Navy topped cold-shooting Pitt 71-62 Friday night in the season-opening Veterans Classic.
The Midshipmen opened the second half with a 13-1 run to take a 52-39 lead and held off a late run by the Panthers in the closing minutes.
Pittsburgh missed its first 14 field goal attempts after halftime. Over the first 13 minutes of the second half, the Panthers were 5 for 20 from the floor and 0 for 9 from 3-point range.
Navy finished with a 39-30 rebounding advantage.
In their defense, the Panthers are extremely inexperienced. They lost all five starters from last season’s team and their only two returning scholarship letterwinners – Ryan Luther and Jonathan Milligan – had three starts between them.
Pitt closed to 66-62 with 1:31 left but didn’t have enough poise to complete the comeback.
Jared Wilson-Frame was at the free throw line with a chance to get the Panthers within a basket, but he missed both shots. Anderson subsequently made two free throws on the other end, and three more Navy foul shots sealed it.
Wilson-Frame led Pittsburgh with 20 points and Luther had 14.
After Dulin scored 11 in the first half to help Navy take a 39-38 halftime lead, Hasan Abdullah began the second half by hitting successive 3s for a seven-point cushion.
Shamiel Stevenson sank a free throw for the Panthers before Anderson connected from beyond the arc and Mo Lewis added a jumper to make it 50-39.
Pittsburgh: It could be a rough run for the Panthers in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Their inexperience was painfully evident against Navy, and the Midshipmen are not to be confused with the Tar Heels or even the Demon Deacons.
Navy: Games like this serve as a confidence-boost for a team that last season reached the Patriot League semifinals for the first time since 2001.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers host Montana on Monday night in the Legends Classic.
Navy: The Midshipmen) face another ACC foe, Miami, on the road Sunday afternoon.
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