PITT
STLOU

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Xavier Johnson leads Pitt past St. Louis, 75-73

NEW YORK (AP) With a two-point lead and St. Louis able to hold for the final shot, Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel gave his team clear instructions during a timeout with 18 seconds left: If Hasahn French touches the ball, foul St. Louis' poorest free throw shooter.

French - who is 12.5 percent from the free-throw line this season - had a chance to tie the game with 4.9 seconds left and his team down two. But he airballed the first shot of a one-and-one, and Pitt beat St. Louis 75-73 on Wednesday.

''We've worked on game situations, different things, but we hadn't worked on that one exactly,'' Capel said. ''For them to take that out on the court and to execute it perfectly was really good, and then for us to step up and make the free throws was really good.''

It was a back-and-forth game with 15 ties and 12 lead changes before Pitt took the lead for good on Xavier Johnson's layup with 1:19 left. He hit a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left to keep the Panthers undefeated at 6-0. Johnson finished with 20 points after just three points in the first half due to foul trouble.

''It was a very physical game and coach just preached about bringing the toughness to them and throwing the first punch and the last punch,'' Pitt's Malik Ellison said. ''He was preaching 10 rounds and I feel like we won most of those 10 rounds.''

Ellison and Sidy N'Dir both scored 13 points for the Panthers. St. Louis (4-1) was led by French, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordan Goodwin, who scored 16.

''I won't take anything away from Pitt,'' St. Louis coach Travis Ford said. ''They are a hard fighting team that played with a lot of energy, you can tell they are really energized right now for Jeff, they are playing hard for him, you can tell that. He's putting them in the right spots. This is going to be a surprise team.''

BIG PICTURE

St. Louis: Picked to win the Atlantic 10 Conference in the A-10 coaches and media vote, the Billikens look the part thus far, following up their victory at Big East foe Seton Hall with a down-to-the-wire game against an ACC opponent.

Pitt: The Panthers are undefeated thanks in large part to a soft schedule. But first-year coach Jeff Capel appears to have the Panthers heading in the right direction.

VOTE GETTERS

St. Louis received six votes in the latest AP Top 25. Pitt hasn't received any votes despite its undefeated start due to the caliber of opponents.

FRUSTRATING FOULS

Ford didn't seem pleased with the officiating as he saw several players get into foul trouble, including three starters ending the game with four fouls.

''I'm confused. I'll be honest with you, I'm really confused,'' Ford said. ''I have to figure out what's a foul, what's not a foul, what's a flagrant.''

UP NEXT

St. Louis: Host Central Arkansas on Saturday.

Pitt: At Iowa on Tuesday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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Key Players
X. Johnson
J. Bess
35.0 Min. Per Game 35.0
13.0 Pts. Per Game 13.0
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
9.0 Reb. Per Game 9.0
49.0 Field Goal % 41.7
43.8 Three Point % 36.4
87.0 Free Throw % 87.5
  Offensive rebound by Malik Ellison 0.0
  Sidy N'Dir missed 2nd of 2 free throws 1.0
+ 1 Sidy N'Dir made 1st of 2 free throws 1.0
  Personal foul on Tramaine Isabell 1.0
+ 3 Javon Bess made 3-pt. jump shot 1.0
+ 1 Xavier Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 4.0
+ 1 Xavier Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 4.0
  Personal foul on Tramaine Isabell 4.0
  Defensive rebound by Pittsburgh 5.0
  Hasahn French missed free throw 5.0
  Personal foul on Xavier Johnson 5.0
Team Stats
Points 75 73
Field Goals 24-55 (43.6%) 29-68 (42.6%)
3-Pointers 4-12 (33.3%) 5-15 (33.3%)
Free Throws 23-34 (67.6%) 10-16 (62.5%)
Total Rebounds 37 43
Offensive 7 16
Defensive 25 26
Team 5 1
Assists 10 12
Steals 5 7
Blocks 5 7
Turnovers 9 11
Fouls 19 23
Technicals 1 1
20 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST
16 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo Pittsburgh 6-0 383775
home team logo Saint Louis 4-1 334073
Team Stats
away team logo Pittsburgh 6-0 72.3 PPG 40.6 RPG 12.0 APG
home team logo Saint Louis 4-1 66.9 PPG 42.5 RPG 12.8 APG
Key Players
1
X. Johnson G 16.6 PPG 3.8 RPG 4.6 APG 43.6 FG%
0
J. Goodwin G 10.0 PPG 7.0 RPG 3.8 APG 39.3 FG%
Top Scorers
X. Johnson G 20 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
J. Goodwin G 16 PTS 8 REB 4 AST
43.6 FG% 42.6
33.3 3PT FG% 33.3
67.6 FT% 62.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
X. Johnson 20 2 2 6/11 1/1 7/8 4 26 1 0 2 1 1
M. Ellison 13 2 3 5/16 0/1 3/6 3 39 2 0 1 1 1
A. Toney 8 8 0 3/7 0/3 2/3 1 24 0 2 0 1 7
T. McGowens 6 2 0 1/4 0/1 4/4 2 18 1 0 2 1 1
K. Chukwuka 2 6 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 2 24 0 2 0 1 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
X. Johnson 20 2 2 6/11 1/1 7/8 4 26 1 0 2 1 1
M. Ellison 13 2 3 5/16 0/1 3/6 3 39 2 0 1 1 1
A. Toney 8 8 0 3/7 0/3 2/3 1 24 0 2 0 1 7
T. McGowens 6 2 0 1/4 0/1 4/4 2 18 1 0 2 1 1
K. Chukwuka 2 6 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 2 24 0 2 0 1 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. N'Dir 13 0 3 5/8 2/3 1/2 1 26 1 0 0 0 0
J. Wilson-Frame 7 4 1 2/4 1/2 2/3 3 27 0 0 2 0 4
T. Brown 6 8 1 1/3 0/0 4/8 3 16 0 1 2 2 6
K. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Ilegomah - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mascaro - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Starzynski - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Stevenson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Aiken Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 75 32 10 24/55 4/12 23/34 19 200 5 5 9 7 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Goodwin 16 8 4 8/11 0/0 0/1 4 33 2 0 1 5 3
H. French 13 10 2 6/12 0/0 1/3 3 29 0 6 4 2 8
J. Bess 12 4 0 3/7 2/3 4/4 4 25 2 0 1 2 2
C. Gordon 6 2 1 3/8 0/1 0/0 4 12 0 1 1 2 0
D. Wiley 0 2 2 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 13 0 0 0 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Goodwin 16 8 4 8/11 0/0 0/1 4 33 2 0 1 5 3
H. French 13 10 2 6/12 0/0 1/3 3 29 0 6 4 2 8
J. Bess 12 4 0 3/7 2/3 4/4 4 25 2 0 1 2 2
C. Gordon 6 2 1 3/8 0/1 0/0 4 12 0 1 1 2 0
D. Wiley 0 2 2 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 13 0 0 0 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Foreman 10 7 1 4/9 0/0 2/4 1 29 0 0 1 1 6
T. Isabell 8 2 1 3/10 2/6 0/0 2 20 2 0 0 1 1
K. Hankton 5 0 0 1/3 1/1 2/2 0 8 0 0 0 0 0
F. Thatch Jr. 3 5 0 1/3 0/1 1/2 2 17 0 0 1 2 3
I. Gudmundsson 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
D. Jacobs 0 2 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 3 12 1 0 2 0 2
E. Welmer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Raboin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Courtney - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 42 12 29/68 5/15 10/16 23 200 7 7 11 16 26