PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Gardner-Webb continues its long early-season road trip Monday night, taking on Pittsburgh at 7:00 pm in the Petersen Events Center.
The game will air live via ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN), with Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken on the call.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (0-1) held a 28-27 lead at halftime of Friday's season opener, but ran into difficulty on the offensive end as SMU steadily built a sizable second-half lead to pull away for good.
All-Big South Conference forward Tyrell Nelson scored all of his team-high 13 points in the first half on Friday night. The Charlotte, N.C., senior will be faced with a bigger front line on Monday, with All-ACC forward Michael Young (6-9, 235) one of several talented big men who will play for Pitt.
Turnovers also plagued the Runnin' Bulldogs in the season opener, with 23 miscues leading to 18 SMU points – with seven coming on the fast break. Point guard LaQuincy Rideau, making only his second start, was active in all facets on Friday night – with nine points, four assists and five steals – but was credited with six turnovers.
Rideau and backcourt running mates Jamaal Robateau and Liam O'Reilly faced a tall backcourt on Friday – with SMU playing six guards who measured 6-foot-5 or taller – and will have a similarly lengthy group to matchup with on Monday.
Starting Panthers guards Jamel Artis (6-7, 215, Sr.) and Cameron Johnson (6-8, 210, R-So.) form one of biggest backcourts in the nation, with Artis an All-ACC choice in 2015. Artis was excellent in the season opener, posting 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists while shooting 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
Young, Pitt's first preseason All-ACC choice, finished with 26 points in Friday night's double overtime win over Eastern Michigan, making 7-of-10 shots and pulling 10 down 10 rebounds. He also finished with five assists in the 93-90 victory.
The Panthers also got 10 points from guard Chris Jones and nine from Johnson. Pitt made an eye-popping 35-of-45 from the charity stripe, as visiting Eastern Michigan was whistled for 30 fouls – and saw three players disqualified – in a physical game. Pitt finished with 22 personal fouls in the game as well.
Monday's visit is Gardner-Webb's first game in men's basketball against the Panthers – and will be the team's first ACC game since a 72-70 win over Clemson on November 21, 2014 in the Virgin Islands.