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Overpowering front court leads No. 4 Pittsburgh to Legends Classic finals

NEWARK, N.J. -- Once Sam Young got rolling Friday night, No. 4 Pittsburgh was well on its way to another big win.

Young scored 24 points and DeJuan Blair added 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Panthers to an easy 80-67 victory over Texas Tech in the semifinals of the Legends Classic on Friday night.

"We run a lot of things for Sam and we're getting him shots." coach Jamie Dixon said. "His teammates also made good decisions trying to find him. It's very important for us to get him going every game."

Pitt (6-0) advanced to Saturday's championship game against Washington State, which beat Mississippi State 63-53 in the other semifinal.

Trevor Cook had 24 points for the Red Raiders (5-1), and Mike Singletary added 15.

"We knew that it was going to take a perfect game to beat them," Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said. "They just beat us. We threw everything we possibly could at them and you can see why they're ranked fourth in the country. They're a good basketball team."

The Panthers grabbed an early lead and held it throughout the first half, taking a 37-27 lead into intermission. Young was the catalyst in the opening half for the Panthers, scoring 12 points, and Blair added nine.

Texas Tech then came out strong to start the second half, scoring the first six points. The teams then traded baskets before Pittsburgh took command midway through the half, eventually leading by as many as 14 points.

"It's probably one of the most physical games I've ever played in," Cook said. "They outweigh our front line by like 40 pounds per guy. It was tough down low against them. It was good to play a faster game against them to get them out of their element, but they still overpowered us."

Pitt outscored Texas Tech 40-14 in the paint.