STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Dec. 29, 2007 -– Pittsburgh (9-3) outscored James Madison (6-4) 16-8 in the final seven minutes to pull away to a 69-61 win in the Wagner Classic Saturday afternoon at the Spiro Center.
JMU senior guard Tamera Young (
Pitt was led by Shavonte Zellous's 26 points. Marcedes Walker added 13 and had a game-high 14 rebounds, and Jania Sims also scored 13.
The Panthers led by as many as nine points early in the first half, as Pitt limited JMU to a single field goal in the opening 4:31 while building a 14-5 lead.
But Young scored 19 of her 21 first-half points as the Dukes took a 35-33 lead into intermission. Her output came as JMU outscored Pitt 30-19 over the final 15:10 of the half.
In the second half, there were nine ties in the first 13 minutes, and Young's 10-foot jumper with 7:06 remaining tied the game for the last time at 53-53.
Pitt then went on an 8-1 scoring run as the Panthers hit four of five field-goal tries to go ahead by seven, 61-54, with 4:13 to go. JMU was able to cut the lead to three, 63-60, with 1:49 left but could get no closer.
The Panthers hit 42.9 percent (24-56) from the floor, while JMU connected on just 35.0 percent (21-60) from the field. Pitt out-rebounded the Dukes 45-39.
Other leading scorers for JMU included redshirt senior forward Jennifer Brown (
Young increased her career points total to 1,638 and moved from fourth to second place on JMU's all-time scoring list. She passed Holly Rilinger ('97) with 1,607 and Lesley Dickinson ('07) with 1,616. She also moved into 10th place among the Colonial Athletic Association's career scoring leaders, passing George Mason's Jen Derevjanik ('04), who scored 1,637 points.
Young's 32-point performance was one below her career high of 33 and three away from the school record of 35.
It was the fourth consecutive loss for JMU. Three of the four defeats came to teams ranked or receiving votes in the national polls (Maryland, Liberty and Pittsburgh).
JMU next faces Wagner on Monday, Dec. 31 (2 p.m.) in the final game of the Wagner Classic. Pitt plays Wagner Sunday (Dec. 30) in a 2 p.m. game.