Back On Track
This story originally published on PantherDigest.com
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Posted Feb 24, 2013


There was very little the Panthers could do wrong, especially a second half which saw them outscore the Red Storm 33-20. Tray Woodall had the hot hand with 25 points, while Pitt defensive effort holds D'Angelo Harrison to six points,

NEW YORK -- Tray Woodall scored a season-high 25 points, including two huge 3-pointers in the second half, and No. 20 Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak with a 63-47 victory over St. John's on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The game was basically decided by the teams' leading scorers: Woodall, who came in averaging 10.9 points per game, and finished 8 of 14 from the field, and D'Angelo Harrison of the Red Storm, the Big East's No. 3 scorer with an 18.3 average, who finished with six points on 1-of-12 shooting. Lamar Patterson had 11 points for the Panthers (21-7, 9-6 Big East), who have won five of their past seven road games.

Jakarr Sampson had 14 points and Phil Greene added 11 for the Red Storm (16-11, 8-7), who have lost three of four overall and eight of the past nine games against Pittsburgh.

The teams came in tied for seventh in the 15-team league. The top eight finishers get a bye to the second round, a day of rest in a tournament that can stretch to five days for a team that doesn't get that opening bye.

Sir'Dominic Pointer made two free throws 2 1-2 minutes into the second half to give the Red Storm a 33-32 lead, just their second of the game.

Woodall, a native of Brooklyn who has spent his senior season climbing Pitt's career statistical lists, hit a 3-pointer with 17:08 to play to give the Panthers the lead for good. He scored the first eight points of a 10-2 run that gave Pitt a 42-35 lead with 15:13 left.

The Red Storm, despite Harrison's shooting woes, were still in it when Chris Obekpa made two free throws to make it 42-39 with 12:08 to play.

The Panthers went on a 13-2 run from there and the basket that silenced the crowd at Madison Square Garden was a long 3 by Woodall that made it 53-41 with 6:29 to go.

St. John's point guard Jamal Branch returned after missing four games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He entered the game with 8 minutes left in the first half, playing for 2 minutes. He came into the game again with 9 minutes to play and saw just a minute. Branch, who missed two shots and had one turnover, came in averaging 8.3 points and 2.5 assists.



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