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Young leads Pittsburgh past North Carolina A&T

Nov 11, 2007 - 12:54 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Sam Young led an early 3-point barrage and the Pittsburgh Panthers had no problem extending their home winning streak.

Young had 17 of his 24 points in the first half as No. 20 Pittsburgh scored 16 consecutive points to pull away for an 88-61 victory over North Carolina A&T on Saturday.

"This is a very good win for us against a team that's likely to be in the NCAA Tournament," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "I'm not sure if you ever want to play a team with six seniors and a pressing defense in your first week of games, but that's what happened today and I thought we responded well."

Leading, 18-17, midway through the first half, Pittsburgh made four shots from the arc during the decisive run to take a 34-17 lead with under four minutes to play in the half.

Young had three of the seven first-half 3-pointers for the Panthers, who extended their home winning streak to 22 games over non-conference opponents.

"They were leaving me open in transition and they lost track," Young said. "Shooting is something I worked on in the offseason and I've been waiting for something like that to happen."

The Panthers (2-0) have not lost in the opening month of the season since November 25, 2001, at South Florida. They have won 22 straight games in the month of November.

Mike Cook added 13 points and five assists for Pittsburgh, which had a 44-23 lead at the half.

Pittsburgh also scored the first 12 points to begin the second half to post its largest lead at 33 points and further put the game out of reach.

"Overall, we had very good shooting and played very unselfishly," Dixon said. "Any time you get good shots, it's because of the passing and that's what we do well. Over the years it's been a trademark of our program and I think this team could be as good a passing team as we've ever had."

Panthers freshman center DeJuan Blair, who had 20 points and 14 rebounds in his first collegiate game on Friday, only played 15 minutes due to foul trouble. He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Steven Rush scored 13 points to lead the Aggies (0-2).

"They hit some big three-pointers, capitalized on turnovers and played well off the bench," North Carolina A&T coach Jerry Eaves said. "They played a lot of players tonight who all played hard and well and accomplished a lot."

    --- --- -----
    NC A&T 23 38 61
    PITTSBURGH (20) 44 44 88 FINAL

    Nov 10 5:45 PM

    NCAA BB NC A&T 23

    Nov 10 4:47 PM