PITTSBURGH—After the Blue Devils faded down the stretch in their first two ACC road games, they left no doubt about the outcome early Wednesday night.

No. 7 Duke led Pittsburgh by as many as 30 points in the first half and coasted to a 87-52 win at Petersen Events Center to bounce back from an ugly defeat at N.C. State Saturday in dominant fashion. The Blue Devils were hot from the perimeter, making eight triples in the first half, and pressured the Panthers into 15 turnovers to easily hold a conference opponent to fewer than 89 points for the first time of the season.

"I was tired of this, man. I’m tired of giving up 90 points a game, tired of letting teams storm the court when we play on the road," freshman big man Marvin Bagley III said. "It was time for us tonight to really make a stand and lock down on defense and get stops, and we really did that."

Bagley led Duke with 16 points and 15 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the year, as the Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2 in the ACC) shared the ball well with 21 assists and just six giveaways against an undermanned and overmatched Pittsburgh squad that started five freshmen. 

"Our freshmen obviously don’t look like their freshmen right now, and that’s not my freshmen’s fault. Very few freshmen look like—nobody looks like Marvin Bagley," Panther head coach Kevin Stallings said. "He’s as good a player as I think I’ve ever watched in preparation for somebody on film. He’s terrific."

Point guard Trevon Duval was much more comfortable than when he coughed the ball up eight times Saturday in Raleigh, and the freshman—who entered the game just 7-of-42 this season from beyond the arc—knocked down three open triples in the first half.

Duval was even fouled shooting a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the first half, making one free throw to stake Duke to a 50-24 lead, and wound up with 14 points on the night.

"It was really just a confidence thing with me, and everybody from the coaches to everybody on the team was telling me to shoot my shot," Duval said. "Today, I shot my shot and I had a couple go down."

Pittsburgh (8-9, 0-4) settled down in the second half and went on a 13-3 run to cut the Blue Devils' lead to 17, but Duke responded immediately with an 21-4 run to build its biggest lead of the night. Gary Trent Jr. scored 10 straight points to cap the run and finished with 14 after a quiet start, and the Panthers scored just nine points in the game's final 11 minutes.

"Our intensity was there the whole game. We’ve been practicing like crazy trying to get better, and we were better tonight. We have to just keep working at it," Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We have talent, but we’re really young, and we have to just keep learning these new habits."

Duke scored the first 10 points of the night and led by double digits for the last 34 minutes of the game, but the early stages also included a scary moment. Wendell Carter Jr. appeared to land awkwardly on Pittsburgh's Shamiel Stevenson and headed to the locker room with a left ankle injury. 

With Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier already sidelined for the game due to leg injuries, seldom-used frontcourt reserves Justin Robinson, Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White stepped in to maintain the lead. Robinson, a former walk-on, stretched the floor with three 3-pointers for a career-high 10 points. 

"They came in and made big shots, made big plays, especially coming off the bench," Bagley said. "I’m just proud of those guys and I’m happy that they were able to do that and step up in a moment like this."

Carter returned to the floor less than seven minutes after his injury and erased any concerns about his ankle with an athletic putback dunk to finish a miss by Bagley near the rim, and he scored the first points of the second half on an alley-oop lob from Duval.

Carter's playing time was still limited by foul trouble—he committed four in 16 minutes—and the Blue Devils' starters outside of Bagley and Duval remained largely unspectacular. Senior Grayson Allen's cold spell continued with 11 points on 2-of-9 shooting from deep, though Duke did not need a flawless performance to comfortably dispatch a Pittsburgh team that has not come within single digits of an ACC opponent this season.

"We have a long way to go. They’re the upper echelon of what college basketball looks like," Stallings said. "They’re a gold standard of basketball programs."

The Blue Devils will look to improve to better than .500 in ACC play for the first time of the season when they host Wake Forest Saturday at noon.