The Duke Blue Devils rebounded from an upset loss at N.C. State for a convincing 87-52 win over Pitt on Wednesday evening. In the process, the Blue Devils push their season record to 14-2 overall and 2-2 in the ACC.
After letting up over 90 ppg in their first three ACC games, Duke held Pitt to 52 points which included 11 team steals and 15 forced turnovers. It was the Blue Devils best defensive effort since a win over Evansville in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
All six Duke starters would end the game with double figure scoring. Duke was one again led by Marvin Bagley III who tallied yet another double-double. The National Player of the Year candidate scored 16 points to go with 15 rebounds.
Trevon Duval added 14 points and had just a single turnover after committing a season high 8 in his last outing. Duval was also 3 of 5 from beyond the three-point stripe despite shooting just 16% for the season coming into the game.
Duke was also aided by Gary Trent Jr. scoring 14 points, most of those coming late in the game where he scored 9 straight points in one stretch. It was perhaps his best overall floor game of late in that he led the Blue Devils with 5 assists to go with 2 steals.
Grayson Allen would add 12 and Wendell Carter Jr. 10 for Duke. Justin Robinson was also in double figures with a career high 10 points including three from beyond the 3 point stripe.
Duke had 22 points off the bench despite missing Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier who are out with injuries. Alex O'Connell added 8 points while Jordan Goldwire and Antonio Vrankovic had 2 each.
"Our bench was really good. They all gave good minutes and kept us going in the first half," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Jack White also played and while he did not score, he had 2 key rebounds and 2 steals. In fact, Duke had 11 steals as a team. In short, Duke got production from everyone who played.
Duke also dished out 21 assists as a team and scored 30 points off turnovers. The Blue Devils also protected the ball with just 6 turnovers while forcing 15.
Pitt cut the lead to 17 in the 2nd half, but after a timeout, it took the Panthers over 8 eight minutes to score another field goal. Whatever Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, allowed his team to close strong.
One thing he did was play zone knowing Duke was tired where their big men were taxed having to do more due to injured players. Duke was very efficient from that point on.
"We have been practicing hard and played while we practiced. We are trying to play good defense and played good zone in the last ten minutes," said Krzyzewski after the game.
Duke will take on Wake Forest in Cameron Indoor Stadium in their next game. That contest will tip-off at 12:00 noon. "We have to hope our fans are ready for when we play Wake Forest," said Krzyzewski.