Papas, Reynolds help Monmouth beat Pitt 56-52

Pittsburgh guard Femi Odukale, left, is fouled by Monmouth guard Myles Ruth (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — George Papas had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, Shavar Reynolds added 14 points and Monmouth beat Pittsburgh 56-52 on Sunday night.

Marcus McClary added 10 points for Monmouth.

Papas scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, in the first half. He made back-to-back 3s to take the lead for good and spark a 17-2 run that he capped with a layup and then a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 13-point lead midway through the first half.

Monmouth led by as many as 19 points in the second half and Reynolds made a short basket that made it 46-28 with 13:42 remaining but the Hawks went scoreless for the next nearly-6 minutes as Pitt scored the first nine points in a 20-7 run that trimmed its deficit to 53-48 when Jamarius Burton hit a 3-pointer with 3:12 to play. His basket in the lane with 28 seconds to go pulled the Panthers within three but Papas made 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to cap the scoring with 7 seconds left.

Burton scored 13 of 15 points in the second half for Pitt (3-7). John Hugley and Femi Odukale added 14 points apiece.

The Hawks (8-2) are off to their best start since winning 8 of 10 games to start the 2015-16 season.

The Panthers scored 19 points on 6-of-27 (22.2%) shooting, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range, before the break — Pitt’s lowest-scoring half of the season.