LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) – Michael Young had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and Pittsburgh rode a dominating performance on the glass to beat host Chaminade 81-68 Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
Pittsburgh (3-1) used its size to a big advantage, out-rebounding the Silverswords 51-17, while scoring 34 points on 27 offensive boards.
Derrick Randall had 11 points and set a tournament record with 21 rebounds for the Panthers. James Robinson added 15 points.
Chaminade shot 51 percent and made 11 3-pointers, but was no match for Pittsburgh inside, giving up 15 straight points on putbacks in the first half to dig a big hole.
Kuany Kuany and Kevin Hu each had 12 points to lead the Division II Silverswords.
Pitt has had a rough start to its 16th season under coach Jamie Dixon.
Junior forward Durand Johnson is out for the season after being suspended and senior guard Cameron Wright is still out with a broken left foot, leaving the Panthers without their two best perimeter scorers.
Pittsburgh rolled over Niagara in its opener, but struggled to put away Samford in a 63-56, then opened its Hawaiian road trip by losing to Hawaii on Friday.
That didn’t bode well against the Silverswords, who are scrappy, can shoot and have been known to pull off an upset or two.
It certainly didn’t start off well for Pittsburgh. The Panthers opened the game by missing 12 of their first 16 shots and allowed Chaminade to drop in shots from the perimeter to keep it close.
What did go well for the Panthers was rebounding.
Soaring over the smaller Swords, Pitt had 11 offensive rebounds in the opening nine minutes and scored its first 15 points on putbacks. The Panthers had a 33-8 rebounding advantage by halftime and scored 21 of their 42 points on 19 offensive boards for an 11-point lead.
Chaminade made a run after Pitt went up by 17 early in the second half, but could only get the lead down to 10 points as the Panthers found their shooting rhythm. Pittsburgh made 12 of 23 shots in the second half.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers grabbed the game’s first nine rebounds. … Randall had 13 rebounds by halftime, Young 10.
Chaminade: Despite its rebounding troubles, the Silverswords did a decent job in the paint, outscored 30-20.
Pittsburgh will face the winner between No. 15 San Diego State and BYU in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Chaminade will face the loser between No. 15 San Diego State and BYU in the loser’s bracket on Tuesday.