PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Pittsburgh knocked down 13 three-pointers Monday night to beat Gardner-Webb, 99-80, in the second round of the 2K Classic.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (0-2) got career-highs from guards LaQuincy Rideau (23 points) and David Efianayi (20 points) – and scored 52 points in the paint – but were unable to recover after falling behind by double figures midway through the first half.
The Panthers (2-0) came out hot, making five of their first eight shots – including a pair of treys – to take a 12-5 lead into the first media timeout. Gardner-Webb responded with a 5-0 run to pull within two, but Pitt countered with a 21-6 run of its own to push the lead comfortably into double digits.
The lead grew to 40-20 on Michael Young's three-pointer – Pitt's seventh of the half – with 4:44 left before intermission.
The Runnin' Bulldogs pulled back within 14 over the next four minutes, but the Panthers nailed a pair of three-pointers in the final 90 seconds to lead 52-32 at the break.
Behind Rideau, Efianayi and Liam O'Reilly, Gardner-Webb trimmed the lead under 20 points over the final 20 minutes – with Rideau slicing into the lane effectively and making a career-best 11 free throws (13 attempts).
O'Reilly added a career-high 14 points and Tyrell Nelson scored 10 for the Runnin' Bulldogs. Gardner-Webb shot 42.5 percent for the game – including 46.3 percent in the second half – and outscored Pittsburgh by a healthy margin (52-32) in the paint.
Gardner-Webb also held advantages on the break (21-10) and turned 19 Pitt turnovers into 17 points.
Efianayi made 9-of-16 shots – including a pair of three-pointers in three attempts – to reach 20 points for the first time in his career with Gardner-Webb.
In addition to his 23 points, Rideau pulled down a career-high eight rebounds, dished off six assists and had four steals – giving him nine steals in two games this season.
Pitt was paced by five men in double figures. All-ACC forward Michael Young netted 18 points, joining 6-foot-8 shooting guard Cameron Johnson for team-high honors. Sheldon Jeter added 14 points, All-ACC guard Jamel Artis added 11 and Jonathan Milligan came off the bench to score 10.
The Panthers shot a healthy 53.8 percent for the game and made 13-of-26 from long distance. Pitt also held a 50-30 edge on the glass, turning 14 offensive caroms into 14 second-chance points.
Gardner-Webb will continue its play in the 2016 2K Classic on Friday, traveling to Indianapolis, Ind., to face Eastern Michigan on a neutral court. Opening tip for that game is set for 11:00 am.