Pitt Falls to Duke 86-56

A successful dunk by Duke's AJ Griffin (Photo Credit : Vince Butts-UMT Sports)

.            Pitt Falls By 30 in the last Visit from Coach K 

[Pittsburgh PA]  Tuesday Night in the Peterson Events center the 11-19  Pitt  Panthers (6-13 in the  ACC) had their sights set on snapping their two game losing streak hosting the 4th Ranked 26-4 Duke Blue Devils  (16-3 in the ACC). Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils had other plans extending  their current winning streak to seven games with the 30 point victory .

The game was another bright spot  in the Coach K farewell tour and it gave the Blue Devils head coach  his 201st ACC conference road win. Prior to tip off coach Krzyewski was presented with symbol of appreciation by former Duke player and now Pitt head coach Jeff Capel III. Coach K now has 1,196 career victories as he continues to close out  a prosperous  career as the head coach at Duke.

Coach Capel and Coach Krzyzewski embrace before the game.(Photo Credit : Vince Butts -UMT Sports)

On this night the Blue devils were lead by Freshman Trevor Keels 15 first half points combined with fellow Frosh Paolo Banchero‘s 12 points in Coach K’s  Final visit to Oakland. The 6-5  221 pound guard finished with a career high 27 points as Banchero contributed. 21 points of his own.

The problems started early for the Panthers who finished shooting only 40% from the floor (21 of 52)  and 28% (4 of 14) from beyond the arch. That type of shooting was apparent as the Panthers finished the first half shooting only 27% from the floor and going without a bucket in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Pitt went into the locker room down 36 to 19.

Paolo Banchero going up for the dunk (Photo Credit : Vince Butts -UMT Sports)

Nothing changed after the intermission as the Blue Devils came out on fire knocking down shots from beyond the arch 50% (finishing 11 of 22)  as well as 59% from the floor  (32 of 54) increasing their lead and never looking back.

By the nine minute mark of the second half  duke was sitting on a 61-44 lead. Keels Continued to lead the way finishing with  2 assist and 3 rebounds combined with his career high points and shooting 10 of 15  from the floor. He combined with Banchero as the fabulous freshman were a combined 17 of 25  shooting from the floor.

Jamarius Burton drives hard against Duke guard Trevor Keels (Photo Credit : Vince Butts-UMT Sports)

By the 6 minute mark. of the second half the lead ballooned to 24 points  (71-47) as guard Wendell Moore and Forward AJ Griffin chipped in as they both  finished their scoring in double figures.

As for the Panthers one bright spot of the night was that they out rebounded the blue devils 29-28. Big John Hugley lead the way with his 19 points and Jamarius Burton chipped in 13 points. No other panther was able to score in double figures.

John Hugley IV shoots over Duke’s Mark Williams ( Photo Credit: Vince Butts -UMT Sports )

As for the Panthers their final regular season ACC game will be Saturday in South Bend, Indiana  against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  The Blue Devils who clinched  the number one seed in the ACC Tournament and at least a share of the regular season title will close out their regular season Saturday in durham against arch rival North Carolina.