In its third try, No. 7 Duke was able to pick up its first ACC road win, a 87-52 rout of Pittsburgh Wednesday. The Blue Zone gives three key takeaways and stats and looks forward for the Blue Devils:

Three key takeaways: 

1. Better ball movement bodes well

Although Pittsburgh is by no means a good defensive team, Duke was able to get back on track on offense behind much crisper passing and ball movement. For the night, the Blue Devils finished with a 21:6 assist/turnover ratio while making 34 field goals, as compared to an abysmal 10:16 mark on 31 field goals Saturday against N.C. State. This is even further reinforced by the fact that no Duke player had more than five assists—it was a team effort. 

2. Allen still absent

In four conference games thus far, Duke's star guard has looked nothing himself, shooting a Trevon Duval-esque 7-of-32 from deep and just 33.3 percent from the floor. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said Allen had to "hunt his shot" more heading into Wednesday's game, and he certainly did that—it's just that those shots aren't falling. He attempted nine 3-pointers and made only one. The Blue Devils will need Allen to get back in a rhythm if they want to reach their full potential. 

3. Bench comes through 

With Wendell Carter Jr. out briefly due to an injury scare and Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier ruled out prior to Wednesday's game, Duke's bench was awfully thin, especially in the post. But sophomore forward Justin Robinson came in and played the most meaningful minutes of his career thus far—and excelled. In 18 minutes of play, Robinson scored 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting—all three made shots from deep—and picked up three blocks. 

Although the Panthers are by no means a strong team, having Robinson as a capable option off the bench with so little depth can only be encouraging for Krzyzewski. Alex O'Connell also came up big in 16 minutes, scoring eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting. 

Three key stats: 

1. Bagley shoots 2-of-8 from the charity stripe

After struggling from the line to start the season, it seemed that Marvin Bagley III had turned a corner and hit his stride. But his woes at the free throw line resurfaced Wednesday, shooting just 25 percent from the line. Bagley was coming off a 9-of-11 outing from the line against N.C. State Saturday, but had also struggled against Florida State Dec. 30, making just 5-of-11 tries. The "Hack-A-Bagley" strategy from opponents seems to be coming back—Bagley hadn't taken eight or more free throw tries since November until his the contest against the Seminoles. 

2. Carter picks up four fouls

Even against an undersized and inexperienced Panthers team, Carter picked up four fouls for the third straight game. And Wednesday was by far the worst outing—he did it in just 16 minutes, while doing it in an average of 31 minutes in the prior two games, allowing him to still have a significant impact on the game. 

3. 13th double-double for Bagley

With a variety of issues plaguing the Blue Devils all season long, they have had one constant: Bagley. Even with his worst shooting outing of the year—he shot just 43.8 percent from the floor—he was able to record his 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 rebounds. 

Looking forward

It's hard to draw any meaningful conclusions from a game against clearly the ACC's worst team. But the strong defensive outing could give Duke some confidence going forward. 

Still, the same thing could have been said after shutting down Evansville and holding them to 40 points—and then the Blue Devils gave up 93 points the next time out. It's very hard to gauge how much this defense has improved from this game, although it was much better on the perimeter, forcing Pittsburgh to shoot just 4-of-22 from deep. Going forward, Duke will need a confident and efficient Allen more than anything—he could be the missing piece in the puzzle.