PITTSBURGH—After a slow start, the Blue Devils will need a second-half comeback to finish their final conference road game with a win.
At the half, No. 15 Duke trails Pittsburgh 39-32 at the Petersen Events Center, behind an efficient offensive performance by the Panthers. The hosts grabbed 20 rebounds to Duke's 10 and hit four of their first five 3-pointers to jump out to an early lead.
The trio of Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard, and Grayson Allen have kept the Blue Devils in the game, combining for 88 percent of the team’s offense.
Pittsburgh was hot out of the gate, capitalizing on three Duke turnovers in the first three-and-a-half minutes to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Ingram got the Blue Devils on the board after four minutes with a 3-pointer, but Duke was not able to get any momentum, falling into a 14-point hole, 22-8, eight minutes into the game.
After Matt Jones picked up two early fouls, Kennard came in and kept Duke in the game with eight quick points, knocking down a pair of triples and sinking two free throws to cut the Panthers' lead to seven with 9:06 left.
Pittsburgh then went on a 7-2 run of its own to get its lead back up to double-digits, and saw its lead go back up to 13 with less than three minutes left in the half. The Blue Devils then went on a mini-run to end the half, scoring the final six points to bring the score to 39-32.
Here are some observations from the half:
- The Blue Devils were outrebounded by 10 in the first-half, and allowed nine offensive rebounds.
- Duke did not record a two-point field goal until an Ingram jumper with 7:30 left in the half, after its first 17 points came via two free throws and five 3-pointers.
- Despite trailing, the Blue Devils have shot the ball well from deep, connecting on six of 15 their attempts.
- For much of the half, Allen, Ingram and Kennard were the only Blue Devils to score. On the other end, eight of the 11 Panthers to see action have at least two points.
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