Pitt small forward Justin Champagnie put on another standout performance on Tuesday night, as he racked up 23 points and 10 boards against North Carolina. Unfortunately, his efforts were not enough to earn the Panthers a win, as they fell to the Tar Heels 75-65. But the work of Champagnie did not go unnoticed, and one of his best plays of the night was featured on the SportsCenter Top 10 on ESPN.
The 6’6”, 200-pound wing earned himself a spot on the daily countdown of top plays with a left-handed slam dunk that came at the expense of North Carolina small forward Leaky Black about two minutes into the second half. During the play, the Pitt star drove past North Carolina center Armando Bacot, which left only Black between him and the rim. And at the rim, Champagnie rose up over the outstretched hand of Black and put him on a poster.
Champagnie’s dunk was featured on the Wednesday morning edition of SportsCenter at the No. 9 spot. It was wedged between a goal on a free kick by Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen at No. 10 and a five-hole goal by Kevin Stenlund of the Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 8. Three college basketball plays were ranked ahead of it in the countdown, including a breakaway layup by Temple’s Jeremiah Williams at No. 4, a made shot from behind the backboard by Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves at No. 2, and a dunk by LSU’s Joseph LeBlanc Sr. at No. 1.
The dunk narrowed North Carolina’s lead over Pitt to five points as the team tried to claw its way back into the game after going into halftime down 34-27. However, Pitt would continually trail North Carolina, as the only help Champagnie received came from Ithiel Horton, who contributed 12 points, and to a lesser extent Xavier Johnson, who dished out seven assists but scored only seven points.
On Tuesday night, the sophomore secured his sixth double-double of the season and the 12th of his career. At this point, Champagnie is averaging 20.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, and he leads the ACC in both statistical categories. The Brooklyn native is also on pace to become the first Pitt player to average a double-double since DeJuan Blair posted averages of 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game back in the 2008-09 season.