Pittsburgh Buried By Duke's Outside Shooting

By Gregory Philson

Pittsburgh knew it had to stop Duke from playing its style. Unfortunately for the excited Petersen Events Center home crowd, the Panthers could do nothing in controlling the Blue Devils’ outside shot and lost 80-65 Monday.

Duke is one of best three-point shooting teams in the country and it was put on full display as Andre Dawkins hit 6-of-7 treys, scored 20 points off of the bench and changed the momentum in the second half. Rodney Hood added three triples and Jabari Parker knocked down two as Duke finished shooting an outstanding 13-of-25 from behind the arc. Parker led all players with 21 points.

Pittsburgh could not keep up with the scoring in the second half as the Panthers only hit five three-pointers and fell into a scoring drought that sent a two-point deficit into double figures late.

Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson looked to have his A game early as he went to the basket with a purpose, drew fouls and created with ball-fakes and crisp passes. However, Patterson settled for more jumpers in the second half and finished only 4-of-14 from the field. He scored 14 points, but even those came with a struggle. Duke’s defense held Pittsburgh to only 41 percent shooting. While that number is not terrible, the Panthers scoring differential on threes was -24.

Surprisingly, coach Jamie Dixon‘s Panthers also did not control the game on the boards. Duke — coming off a great rebounding performance against Florida State — outrebounded Pittsburgh 36-to-32. Pittsburgh may have just caught Duke in a hot rebounding phase, but this could become a concern if more teams find out exactly how Duke was able to handle the glass.

The loss by no means takes Pitt out of the running for the ACC title, but the way the Panthers fell will need to be dug into before taking the court again this weekend against Virginia.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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