With six minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the first half of its game against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, the Maryland men's basketball team was hanging around. It trailed by six points and got out to a hot start from the three-point line.
But that's when Panthers guard Jamel Artis took over. The senior scored seven consecutive points, capped off by a powering fast break dunk, which forced coach Mark Turgeon to call a timeout.
After Pittsburgh extended its lead to 20, Maryland scored for the first time in about three-and-a-half minutes. In response to a four point Maryland run, Artis hit a 3-pointer before forward Michael Young drained a jump shot to close out a half in which Artis and Young outscored the Terps, 25-24.
The duo finished with 47 points, helping Pittsburgh earn a 73-59 win and hand Maryland its first loss of the season before an announced crowd of 17,144 at Xfinity Center.
"Young and Artis were great," Turgeon said. "They're hard to guard. They were just ballin'."
Young and Artis entered Tuesday as the Panthers' (6-1) leading scorers, averaging 23.3 and 19.3 points, respectively.
The Terps (7-1) got out to a 6-0 lead, but Artis and Young then combined for seven points to halt Maryland's momentum. As the contest went back and forth, Pittsburgh received contributions from multiple players. Then Artis went on a personal scoring run to end the half.
The Baltimore native, who moved to point guard this offseason, finished a layup through contact and connected on the free throw before draining a 3-pointer. On the next possession, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound playmaker stole guard Kevin Huerter's pass to the top of the key and glided down the court by himself for a flush.
Guard Anthony Cowan, who Turgeon said is one of the team's best defenders, and guard Melo Trimble defended Artis. Trimble said he noticed in film how good Artis is in transition, but the junior couldn't stop him from swinging momentum in the Panthers' favor.
"He's just a good offensive player," Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings said. "Jamel would be having big games offensively if he were playing the center spot for us. Jamel is more than capable of playing the point and handling the ball for us. He's doing a great job of it."
Artis and Young continued to score with ease in the second half, combining for 14 of Pittsburgh's 16 points out of the break. While Artis paced the Panthers with 15 points in the first frame, Young, who also added nine rebounds in the game, took control in the second half, scoring 15 of his 25 points.
When Maryland cut Pittsburgh's lead to eight with 3 minutes and 35 seconds to play, Young drew a foul off a fast break and drained the freebies. The senior made four more shots from the charity stripe down the stretch.
The Terps kept a big man on Young throughout, rotating between Huerter and forwards Damonte Dodd, Michal Cekovsky and Justin Jackson. Young's versatility made him a matchup problem, helping the Panthers shoot 46 percent.
"Coach just told me to make everything tough on him," Dodd said. "As we said in the scouting report, he's a really good player. Kudos to him. It makes me better."
With 13 seconds remaining and Pittsburgh in control, Young threw down an emphatic dunk, turned toward the student section and placed a finger over his lips, silencing Maryland faithful moments before their team's first loss of the year. Despite receiving a series of boos, the 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward faced the students again when the final buzzer blew and made the same gesture.
"When you have prolific scorers," Stallings said,"one of the benefits is they can go get you a bucket when things are down."