Young scores 27 points in Pitt’s win over Division II Chaminade
LAHAINA, Hawaii — The threat of an upset always is a possibility at the Maui Invitational with Division II Chaminade in the mix.
The Silverswords upset Texas in the tournament’s first round two years ago. And who could forget the granddaddy of all upsets when Chaminade shocked Ralph Sampson and Virginia in 1982?
Armed with this knowledge — and coming off a surprising upset loss against Hawaii three days earlier — Pitt blew the doors off Chaminade in a much-needed 81-68 victory Monday night at Lahaina Civic Center.
Pitt (3-1) advances to face the BYU-San Diego State winner at 10 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.
“The loss hurt, it hurt a lot,” said sophomore forward Michael Young, who achieved career highs with 27 points and 15 points as he also collected his first career double-double.
“You don’t want to lose a game you’re supposed to win. I don’t think we had a lot of energy in the Hawaii game.”
“I think the Hawaii game was a wake-up call or them,” Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said. “They came out inspired, aggressive. They were in the passing lanes. They were crashing the boards.”
Young and senior Derrick Randall dominated Chaminade’s undernourished frontcourt with rebounding and inside force. Randall scored 11 points and grabbed a tournament-record 21 rebounds. The pair outrebounded Chaiminade, 36-17.
“Derrick was unbelievable tonight,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “He’s played better in practice the last week. Let him play when he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Their latest opponent actually was irrelevant to the Panthers, who were fighting against themselves — both offensively and defensively.
After a slow start, Pitt took charge.
Chaminade led 18-17, and it looked like the Hawaii game all over again as the Panthers failed to finish scoring opportunities and were a step behind defensively.
Freshman Ryan Luther (Hampton) turned things around with a long 3-pointer that sparked an 8-0 run featuring aggressive defense.
Sophomore guard Josh Newkirk created havoc at the defensive end, securing a loose ball and scoring a transition basket to make it 23-17. The play seemed to energize the Panthers, who still were attempting to shake loose the cobwebs against a team they were expected to defeat with one hand tied behind their backs.
Until that stretch, Chaminade (2-1) kept pace with the Panthers. However, it was a different game from that point as Pitt built a 42-31 lead at halftime.
Pitt junior guard James Robinson added 17 points, four rebounds and five assists.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected].