PITTSBURGH (AP)Femi Odukale scored 15 points, John Hugley had 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and Pittsburgh held on to beat UNC Wilmington 59-51 on Tuesday night.
Jamarius Burton hit a 3-pointer to give Pitt a 17-6 lead about 7 minutes in and the Panthers, who never trailed, made back-to-back layups to open the second half that stretched their lead to 38-21. Shykeim Phillips answered with a 3-pointer to spark an 11-2 run and UNCW later used a 13-2 spurt to trim its deficit to 49-47 when Jaylen Fornes hit a 3 midway through the period.
The Seahawks made just 1 of 15 from the field thereon as Pitt made 8 of 14 from the free-throw line to seal it. The Panthers missed 12 of their final 13 shots from the field, including the last seven.
Trazarien White had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals for UNCW (1-2) and Mike Okauru added 12 points.
Pitt (1-2), which lost its first two games of the season for just the second time in the last 25 years, avoided its first 0-3 start to a season since 1996-97. The Panthers lost 78-63 to The Citadel in their opener and dropped a 75-59 decision to West Virginia last Friday.
Burton, a transfer from Texas Tech who started his career at Wichita State, made his debut for the Panthers and finished with seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes. The 6-foot-4 senior had been sidelined nearly six weeks after having surgery on his left knee on Oct. 8.
Hugley, a 6-foot-9, 280 pound sophomore, has two double-doubles – the first of his career – this season and is averaging 19 points and nine rebounds.
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