In a very methodical performance the Duke Blue Devils dispatched of the Pitt Panthers in convincing style with an 86-56 blowout win. The victory is the second straight game on the road winning by 20 or more. With the victory over the Panthers the Blue Devils move to 26-4 on the season, 16-3 in conference and the number 1 seed going into the ACC Tournament. Also notable the Blue Devils have won 8 straight games on the road.
The Blue Devils started off the game hot from the outside, jumping out to a 22-7 run. The Blue Devils hit 4 3-point shots in the first 5 minutes and never really looked back. The shooting for the Blue Devils did not cool off as they went for 54.5% from beyond the arc in the first half but the defense for the Blue Devils was just as hot. The Panthers were held to 27.6% from the field and 18% from 3 on their way to a 17 point halftime lead. Freshmen Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels combined to shoot 5-5 from beyond the arc in the first half for the Blue Devils, Noth scoring in double figures with 12 and 15 respectively.
Duke did not show any signs of slowing down in the second half outscoring Pitt 50-37 in the half. Led again in scoring in the second half by Keels and Banchero the Blue Devils continued to score the basketball well and doing it multiple ways. In addition to shooting 5-11 from 3 in the Blue Devils scored 10 points off of Pitt turnovers. But the story of the night for the Blue Devils was Trevor Keels. Keels led the Blue Devils in scoring a career high 27 points off of 10-15 shooting including 5-8 from 3. Paolo Banchero was also hot for the road team scoring his 21 points off of 7-10 shooting and 3-3 from beyond the arc. Duke freshman AJ Griffin added 12 points in 5-7 shooting doing most of his damage in the paint and not his usual 3 point prowess. Griffin also led the team in rebounding, pulling down 7. Duke captain Wendell Moore Jr. added to Duke’s efficiency shooting 4-6 from the floor, grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing 5 assists in the win.
If the Blue Devils recent play is a trend then it bodes well for them going forward but there is still one game left and it’s hard to imagine the Blue Devil players aren’t feeling some sort of pressure. If the Blue Devils can approach the last home game of the season with the same focus they have their recent road games then the talent disparity should take care things.