Pittsburgh's Michael Young, right, drives on Boston College's Dennis Clifford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic
February 24, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh sophomore forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young don't sit around talking about their team's chances of making the NCAA tournament.

''We don't look into stuff like who's in and who's out,'' Young said. ''We want to make it but we've got to win games to make it. We've just got to worry about the next game.''

Boston College's do-everything guard Olivier Hanlan nearly made the discussion moot. Nearly.

Hanlan poured in a season-high 39 points but the reeling Eagles couldn't overcome the steady play of Artis and Young as Pitt escaped 71-65 on Tuesday night.

Artis finished with 24 points and eight rebounds and Young added 22 points and nine boards as the Panthers won for the sixth time in their last eight games to give their NCAA prospects a modest boost.

Cameron Wright added 10 for Pitt (19-10, 8-7), which led by as much as 15 but needed to sweat out another spectacular night from Hanlan.

The ACC's leading scorer battling foul trouble in the second half but kept finding ways to make things happen despite the Panthers throwing a handful of different defenders at him. Harlan made 5 of 12 3-pointers, a handful of twisting layups and drilled all 14 of his free throws for his fourth game of at least 30 points this season.

''That's as good a game as I've seen anybody play,'' said Boston College coach Jim Christian.

Aaron Brown chipped in 20 points for Boston College but the Eagles (9-18, 1-14) lost their ninth straight. Outside of Hanlan and Brown the rest of the Eagles combined for 3 of 9 shooting and 0 for 5 at the free throw line.

''We have two guys that have been very consistent,'' Christian said. ''The other guys are trying but just haven't been productive at this level. It's tough.''

Pitt won the first meeting between the two schools 61-60 in overtime back on Jan. 6. Things weren't quite as close this time around, though Hanlan and Brown did an admirable job of keeping the sagging Eagles in it deep into the second half.

The Panthers, coming off an emotional win at Syracuse on Saturday, never trailed over the final 33 minutes but struggled putting Boston College away. Artis and Young did most of the heavy lifting.

Young has played most of the season out of position at center but had his way with whoever the Eagles threw at him with a variety of old-school spin moves. Artis, who has flourished on the wing, is becoming one of the best mid-range shooters in country.

''Mike and Jamel are becoming more patient,'' Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. ''It's just making them better.''

Pitt relied on that newfound maturity as the Eagles kept coming.

Several times in the second half Boston College drew within a basket. Each time Young or Artis would respond. Artis hit a layup after a nifty interior pass from Young to make it 44-39. After a Brown 3-pointer pulled Boston College to 50-47, Artis knocked down a 17-footer.

Pitt needed just about every one of them. A Brown 3-pointer got Boston College within 68-63 with 1:23 left but Artis made two free throws and Hanlan finally cooled at the other end.

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TIP-INS

Boston College: Aaron Brown earned a technical foul midway through the first half following a no-call by officials after Brown had the ball stolen from him by Cameron Wright.

Pitt: Reserve senior forward Aron Phillips-Nwankwo played five minutes in his return from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss seven games.

UNSTOPPABLE

Pitt did what it could to slow Olivier Hanlan down. James Robinson and Cameron Wright got a chance to guard him one-on-one. When that didn't work the Panthers attempted to double-team Hanlan before finally settling on a zone defense in the final minutes that seemed to slow Hanlan down just enough.

''They tried to put different matchups on me and tried to get me tired,'' Hanlan said. ''They had me chasing (on defense), trying to get me tired down the stretch.''

Michael Young gave the rest of the Eagles credit for doing their best to get their star involved.

''The guys knew they weren't getting the ball, they still ran hard like they were getting the ball,'' Young said. ''He was attacking. We knew he was going to go regardless of time and score. We wanted to contain him and play as best defense as we can.''

UP NEXT:

Boston College: hosts N.C. State on Saturday.

Pitt: travels to Wake Forest on Sunday

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