Nov 26, 2019 4:24 AM

K-State suffers first loss as they fall to Pitt in Fort Myers

Posted Nov 26, 2019 4:24 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Xavier Johnson made a short jumper with 10.1 seconds left to give his team the lead, then made two free throws with 4.6 seconds to help Pittsburgh top Kansas State 63-59 in the Fort Myers TipOff on Monday night.


"Coach drew up a play and I'm pretty good at driving to the basket," Johnson said. "It's a great win."


After seeing a 57-51 lead disappear as they couldn't score for 3:56, the Panthers (5-2) scored six points in the last 10.1 seconds. Two more free throws by Justin Champagnie clinched it with 0.1 seconds left.


Ryan Murphy and Eric Hamilton both scored 13 points for Pitt while Johnson and Champagnie added 12 each.


The Panthers won despite making just 1 of 16 3-pointers and committing 21 turnovers. They did hit 47% of their shots, went 18 of 21 on free throws and had a 40-30 rebounding advantage.


"When you have 21 turnovers and two assists, how do you win a game like that?" Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. "You go out and rebound like we did. Show toughness. We're not going to out-talent most teams and they have players and a program that has a culture."


Cartier Diarra scored 13 and DaJuan Gordon added 12, 10 straight in the first half, for Kansas State (4-1), which made just 3 of 13 free throws.


"That's not gonna happen again," Diarra said.


Xavier Sneed, who came in leading K-State with 16 points per game, didn't score until 15:40 remained in the second half. He finished with eight points.


For the first time this season, Kansas State had a first-half lead, going up 30-28. The Wildcats took a 9-0 lead. They also led 27-17 before Pitt rallied.


"We didn't finish off that first half," Diarra said. "If we keep that 10-point lead, it's a different story."


BIG PICTURE


Pitt: The Panthers are starting to build a nice resume with victories over two teams, which made the NCAA Tournament last season. Pitt opened the season by beating Florida State 63-61. However, it does have a big blemish, a 75-70 loss to Nicholls State.


Kansas State: Picked to finish ninth in the Big 12, the Wildcats play defense of an NCAA-Tournament caliber team but offense can be hard to find at times, especially if Sneed struggles to score and Makol Mawien gets in foul trouble like they did Monday night. They came in averaging a combined 25.5 points per game but ended up with 12 against Pitt.


UP NEXT


Pittsburgh will play the winner of Monday's second game between Northwestern and Bradley for the Fort Myers TipOff Championship.


Kansas State will play the loser of Monday's second game for the Fort Myers TipOff third-place game.


--- Associated Press ---

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Nov 26, 2019 4:24 AM
Nebraska pulls away from Washington State to win 82-71

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Haanif Cheatham scored 19 points and Jervay Green scored 14 and Nebraska pulled away for an 82-71 win over Washington State in the Cayman Islands Classic on Monday night.


Cheatham and Green combined for 26 points in the second half.


Dachon Burke and Kevin Cross added 14 points apiece and Cam Mack had 10 with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Cornhuskers (3-2).


CJ Elleby matched his career high with 27 points for Washington State (2-3) and Isaac Bonton added 17 points.


Nebraska had a pair of 13-2 runs in the second half. The first started barely two minutes in and erased a four-point deficit. Green, who had eight points during the streak, started it with two free throws and followed with a 3-pointer to put the Cornhuskers on top 41-40. He had another 3 during the run, which ended with 13:47 to go and Nebraska up 49-42. The Cougars went 1 for 8 with three turnovers.


Washington State was only down five points when the next run began at the midway point. Cheatham led the charge with six points as the Cornhuskers hit 4 of 5, including a pair of 3s. Cheatham had a 3 to start it and Cross made it 69-53 with a 3 at the 7:22 mark. In that 3 1/2-minute stretch WSU went 1 for 8 with two turnovers.


The Cougars shot 32% in the second half while the Cornhuskers shot 64%, including 5-of-7 3-pointers.


Neither team led by more than six points in the first half, with the Cougars up 37-34 at the break. The difference was at the foul line where WSU was just 5 of 9 while the Cornhuskers went 2 of 7. Elleby led Washington State with 13 points and Cross had nine for Nebraska.


BIG PICTURE


Washington State: Nebraska is the first Power 5 team the Cougars have played. ... First-year coach Kyle Smith is rebuilding a program that has lost to Santa Clara and Omaha.


Nebraska: WSU is the first Power 5 team the Cornhuskers have played, which makes their three-game winning streak a little less impressive. A win over Southern in overtime and losses to UC Riverside and Southern Utah at home prove what a difficult rebuilding project first-year coach Fred Hoiberg has. ... Husker Matej Kavas, a graduate transfer from Seattle, averaged 10 points and 9.7 points in two previous games against the Cougars, but had just two in the win. ... Nebraska was coming off back-to-back 90-plus games, the first time that has happened since 1999-2000.


INSIDE THE NUMBERS


The Cougars led the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 7.3 but had 13 against the Huskers. They also forced 15.8 turnovers, eight of them steals, and Nebraska turned it over 15 times, seven of them steals. ... Also of note, WSU was 6 of 27 (22%) from 3-point range, Nebraska 9 of 18, which made up for a 13 of 25 performance at the foul line.


HEATING UP


Nebraska now leads the series 7-2, with the last game 21 years ago in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was nine degrees for that Alaska tipoff. Monday it was 70 degrees warmer.


UP NEXT:


Washington State: The Cougars meet Old Dominion on Tuesday.


Nebraska: The Cornhuskers take on George Mason on Tuesday in the winner's bracket.


--- Associated Press ---