After a week of uncharacteristic high-scoring shootouts, the Blue Devils are back to winning with their defense.

No. 18 Duke staved off Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon on the road at Petersen Events Center, winning 58-46 and holding the Panthers to just 32.8 percent shooting. After Pittsburgh rallied from an 18-point deficit to take its first lead of the game at 44-43 in the fourth quarter, graduate student Lexie Brown scored five straight points to quickly put the Blue Devils back in the driver's seat. They closed the game on a 15-2 run spanning more than six minutes.

Graduate student Rebecca Greenwell followed up Brown's five quick points with a triple from the corner, and the Panthers did not come closer than five points the rest of the way.

"We just got a sense of urgency," Brown told GoDuke.com. "It wasn’t good that it took us to lose our lead for us to wake up during that game, but we really came together as a team...and played that last six minutes the way we should have played the entire game."

Pittsburgh native Erin Mathias shined in the final homecoming trip of her career, scoring 12 points and adding 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Brown was the only Duke player to join Mathias in double figures, finishing with 20 points.

"It was really fun. I know a lot of people that were in the crowd tonight, and I could hear them yelling my name, so that helps with encouragement and knowing that I have a lot of people here that love me," Mathias told GoDuke.com. "It was a tough game, but we fought really hard, especially in the fourth quarter."

The Blue Devils (17-5, 6-3 in the ACC) shot out to a 12-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game, with five different players making its first five shots from the field. Graduate students Brown and Greenwell knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to create some separation. Pittsburgh remained close deep into the second quarter, but Duke scored the last eight points of the half, including another triple for both Brown and Greenwell, to take what appeared to be a comfortable 30-15 lead.

"I was pretty aggressive offensively the entire game, which I think was definitely helpful toward the end of the game. I didn’t really take a break," Brown said. "It was nice to see some of those shots go in, and just staying aggressive is super important so when the game becomes tight, I can be able to step up and make big plays for us."

The Panthers (9-13, 1-8) did not go away quietly, though, exceeding their first-half scoring output in the third quarter alone. A 17-6 run to end the quarter trimmed the Blue Devil lead to just 41-34 entering the final period, and Pittsburgh continued to chip away early in the fourth quarter until it finally pulled in front for a brief 18-second span when Kyla Nelson sank a 3-pointer.

Redshirt junior Yacine Diop more than held her own in the post for the Panthers as an undersized forward at just 5-foot-10, notching a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Despite having only one player taller than 6-foot-2, the Panthers nearly matched Duke on the boards.

"We’re getting there. I really like Erin’s 10 rebounds and Becca’s eight. I don’t like many others, though," Blue Devil head coach Joanne P. McCallie told GoDuke.com. "Their star player—she was fabulous and she got a double-double, and we didn’t really stop her from getting rebounds, so we've got to work on that."

Duke will return home to Cameron Indoor Stadium to host Georgia Tech Thursday night before welcoming No. 5 Notre Dame for a marquee matchup next Sunday.