The Pitt Panthers haven’t visited Cameron Indoor Stadium in 36 years.
After watching the Duke Blue Devils put on a shooting display from behind the arc, they may wait 36 more years before they come back.
No. 5 Duke shot 48 percent from three-point range and Blue Devils’ head coach Mike Krzyzewski moved one victory from 1,000 for his Hall of Fame career as Duke cruised to a 79-65 ACC victory.
Pitt’s Jamel Artis turned in a second consecutive outstanding game, leading the team with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough to stop the Blue Devils attack.
Duke (16-2, 4-2 ACC) freshman Jahlil Okafor drew most of the attention from the Panthers as Pitt double teamed him every chance they got. While Okafor didn’t disappoint, scoring 14 points and dishing out five assists, it was fellow freshman Tyus Jones who stole the show.
Jones scored a game-high 22 points, making 7-of-11 shots from the floor, and draining four triples in the process.
Duke also got big games from Rasheed Sulaimon, who also hit four three-point shots on the night, and senior guard Quinn Cook, who posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Blue Devils scored the game’s first seven points, while Pitt (13-6, 3-3) made just two of their first nine attempts from the floor and the rout was on early.
Duke had success finding open shooters throughout the evening and when they did, they drained open looks. The Blue Devils made seven of their 11 three pointers in the first half as Duke took a 41-25 lead into the locker room.
In what has been the story of their season, Pitt did a good job of creating open looks, they just couldn’t knock down shots. The Panthers dug themselves a hole early on by shooting just 37 percent in the first half.
The Blue Devils did an exceptional job of turning turnovers into points. Duke forced only six Pitt first-half turnovers, but turned that into 14 points. Coincidently Pitt had no points off of turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Pitt also lost the rebounding battle as the Blue Devils outrebounded the Panthers 36-32.
The Panthers played much better offensively in the second half, cutting the deficit to 10 on more than one occasion. Pitt shot 51.5 percent from the floor during the game’s final 20 minutes, but couldn’t string together enough stops to get back into the game.
In addition to the big game from Artis, Chris Jones (13) and Michael Young (11) also scored in double figures for the Panthers.
Things won’t get any easier for Pitt the next time out as they play host to No. 10 Louisville Sunday at the Petersen Events Center.
Photo Credit: Associated Press