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Previewing Duke at Pittsburgh
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Duke Mauls Pitt Panthers, 93-55
Player Stats

Duke Mauls Pitt Panthers, 93-55
By Rob Clough
November 24, 2010



Duke followed its own formula to the letter in their 93-55 romp over Pitt on the road. The experienced starting five of the Panthers kept things close in the first half thanks to lights-out shooting (60% from the field). Despite that great shooting, the Devils still led at the half by 9 points as they hit a respectable number of shots (49%), dominated the offensive boards (11-2 edge in second-chance points) and forced turnovers (10). Pitt's strategy was to lay off Duke in an attempt to keep their foul count low, a scheme that worked (as only center Chelsea Cole got into foul trouble) but wound up having little impact on the game.

The two teams went back and forth for the first few minutes until Duke hit a three minute scoring drought. Pitt could only exploit it for a 15-12 lead before Jasmine Thomas hit a jumper. Pitt responded with a score, but ever-clutch frosh Chelsea Gray swished a three to tie the game. The Panthers went three minutes without a point and Duke broke off a 9-0 run to establish a 6 point margin. Three straight steals by Duke led to three straight easy baskets as the Devils' defensive pressure was starting to take a toll. Shay Selby came off the bench to wreak havoc on the Panthers at both ends as she was creating steals, swishing threes and feeding the post. Every time Pitt hit a shot to stay within range, Selby would make a play, like her three that put Duke up 37-25. The Panthers cut the lead to 7 a couple of times, but Richa Jackson's stickback of a J.Thomas miss at the buzzer made the halftime score 43-34. Pitt played very well to get their points, because Duke made them take a lot of jumpers. About the only thing Duke did wrong was put the Panthers on the line 11 times.

Duke slowly built the lead into double figures in the second half thanks to good ball movement, aggressiveness off the dribble and pressure defense. A two minute drought from Pitt made it 51-38 as fatigue started to set in for the home team. While the stayed out of foul trouble, they simply couldn't do much to stop Duke from getting to the hoop at will. Duke's defense was generating plenty of easy baskets. Duke was now getting to the foul line as well, but Pitt kept from embarrassing themselves until about the 7:38 minute mark when they cut Duke's lead to 20. The Panthers would not score again for a full seven minutes, while Duke doubled their lead to 40 points.

Duke wound up with six players in double digits, led by Jasmine Thomas with 16. Shay Selby had a career high with 15 points, most of those in the decisive first half. Karima Christmas, Kathleen Scheer, Krystal Thomas and Haley Peters (always steady as she goes) were also in double figures. Duke crushed Pitt in hustle stats: 32-5 in points off turnovers, 23-4 in second-chance points (Pitt's offensive rebounding specialist Cole had just a single o-board) and 14-8 in fast break points. Duke's bench scored 44 points to just 2 for the Panthers. Pitt simply didn't have the depth to deal with wave after wave of aggressive Duke players. Duke's forced a lot of turnovers before, but turning them directly into points has sometimes been a problem--but not in this game. Every Pitt error was quickly turned into points. This was a solid road win where a number of team goals were met, as Duke once again had more assists than turnovers (19 to 11). Those scouting Duke will note that simply sitting back in a zone or playing passively against the Devils isn't a sound defensive plan anymore--Duke has to be attacked at both ends if a team's going to win.

Duke Blue Devils Team Box Score


Pittsburgh Team Box Score


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Previewing Duke at Pittsburgh
Duke Mauls Pitt Panthers, 93-55
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