PITTSBURGH (AP) — Xavier Johnson scored seven of his 27 points in the waning minutes as Pittsburgh held off Drexel for an 83-74 victory on Saturday, avoiding a second-straight upset to a non-Power Five school.
Pitt (1-1) dropped its season opener to Saint Francis (Pa.), but led from the start against Drexel (0-1), and by as many as 16 points before the Dragons rallied.
The Dragons cut the gap to five when T.J. Bickerstaff dunked after a Matey Juric steal with 7:33 remaining. Johnson made a 3-pointer a few seconds later and, while Drexel came within seven points three times in the closing minutes, Pitt had an answer each time.
The Panthers finished with 62% shooting (31-for-50) and outscored Drexel 23-9 on the fast break.
Au’Diese Toney scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting for the Panthers and Justin Champagnie added 19 with seven rebounds. Johnson dished eight assists and Toney six.
Camren Wynter led the Dragons with 24 points, 17 in the second half, on 10-for-16 shooting with four assists and three steals. Bickerstaff scored a career-high 19.
Drexel had 10 steals and scored 13 points off as many Pitt turnovers.
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