PITTSBURGH (AP) – Xavier Johnson scored a season-high 20 points to lead Pittsburgh over Rutgers, 71-60 in the 2019 ACC-Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night.
Johnson finished 8 of 14 shooting and hit 2 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also recorded a game-high eight assists.
Pitt (7-2) went into the break leading by eight, but the Knights closed the gap early in the second half as the Panthers’ shooting touch went cold. The teams played about 10 minutes of tight basketball before Trey McGowens sparked a 13-0 Pitt run.
Johnson had six of Pitt’s 13 points on that run and finished with 16 points overall.
Particularly effective after turnovers, Pitt scored 28 of its points off 20 Rutgers giveaways. The Knights scored just 11 points from turnovers.
Rutgers (6-2) once again closed the gap in the final two minutes but couldn’t get any closer than seven points.
Myles Johnson, Ron Harper, Jr. and Montez Mathis each had 14 points to share the team lead for Rutgers. Johnson had 14 rebounds and Harper had 10 rebounds, each recording a double-double.
Rutgers: Geo Baker, the Knights’ leading scorer, had nine points, snapping his streak of six consecutive games in double figures.
Pitt: After dropping two of their first four games, the Panthers have now won five straight and seem to be rounding into form against top-flight opponents, with their victory over the Knights coming on the heels of wins over Northwestern and Kansas State. Pitt now has four major-conference wins, as many as they had in all of 2018-19.
Rutgers: Begins Big Ten play with a trip to No. 11 Michigan State on Sunday. The Knights are 0-8 all-time against the Spartans, with seven of the losses coming as conference opponents.
Pitt: Travels to Louisville for its second ACC game of the season. The Panthers are 1-0 in conference play after beating Florida State to open their season.
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