Pitt defeats Stanford, wins Legends Classic in Brooklyn


By Nate Barnes | Sports Editor

Lamar Patterson followed up a career night Monday with another one Tuesday night in the final of the Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against the Stanford Cardinals. Patterson needed just 10 shots to score a career-high 24 points as he earned the Legends Classic MVP while Pitt (6-0) took home the tournament’s title after a 88-67 victory.

Pitt’s win at the expense of Stanford (5-2) was another wire-to-wire triumph that followed the Panthers’ 76-53 win against Texas Tech Monday night, when Patterson scored 23 points. The small forward chipped in six assists and three rebounds to accompany his career-high scoring performance, which he accomplished on 6-of-10 shooting which included making 3-of-6 3-pointers and 9-of-11 free throws.

Patterson was one of five Panthers to score in double-digits as Pitt tied its season-high scoring output set in with a 88-55 victory in the team’s opening game against Savannah State on Nov. 8. Talib Zanna and Durand Johnson each scored 14 points, Cam Wright added 13, and James Robinson chipped in another 10.

But in a fashion uncharacteristic of Pitt’s usual manner of victory, the Panthers were outshot by the Cardinal. Stanford finished 24-of-46 for a 52.2 percent clip from the field, while Pitt shot 44.6 percent on 25-of-56 attempts.

While the Panthers still made as many shots as Stanford, the Panthers more than made up for the disparity in shooting percentage by reaching the free throw line 34 times Tuesday. There, the Panthers made 30 of their attempts from the charity stripe to account for over one-third of the team’s points.

Stanford posed the first consistent test the Panthers have faced in the young 2013-14 season, as the Cardinal sustained success against Pitt longer than any other opponent thus far. Stanford trailed by only four points, 22-18, with over seven minutes left in the first half.

Pitt then finished the half on a 21-10 run to carry a 43-28 lead into halftime. In the second frame, Stanford cut Pitt’s deficit to 11 points with under nine minutes to play in the game as yet another time in the game when the Cardinal appeared poised to snatch momentum and burst back into the contest.

But each time, Pitt hastily nipped any threat from Stanford in the proverbial bud. After the Cardinal came as close as within 11 points at 66-55, Johnson ended a streak of seven straight Pitt misses with a 3-pointer that turned into four as Johnson was fouled on his landing and made the and-one try.

In those final eight-plus minutes, Pitt outscored Stanford 22-12 to secure the Legends Classic title.

Dwight Powell kept Stanford close for as long as he could with 20 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Anthony Brown found his stroke from distance in the second half, as he ultimately scored 16 points and made 4-of-4 3-point tries.

Chasson Randle added 10 points of his own for the Cardinal, while Josh Huestis scored nine. No other Stanford player scored more than five points.

But Patterson outshined any player in Brooklyn Monday and Tuesday, as the redshirt senior averaged 23.5 points, 5 assists, 3.5 steals, and 3 rebounds in Pitt’s two games. Patterson’s most impressive feat was his shooting line of 60.9 percent from the field, 53.8 percent from 3-point range, and 85.7 percent from the free throw line.