ICEBURGH: No. 7 Duke men's basketball stunned at home by hot-handed Pittsburgh, snaps 8-game win streak

Pittsburgh's Blake Hinson — who went 7-of-7 from three — stands on the scorer's table in front of the Cameron Crazies after his team's upset of Duke Saturday night.
Pittsburgh's Blake Hinson — who went 7-of-7 from three — stands on the scorer's table in front of the Cameron Crazies after his team's upset of Duke Saturday night.

In the span of just 11 days, Duke and Pittsburgh played two completely different games. 

After losing by 22 in their own arena, the Panthers came into Cameron Indoor Stadium and put together an inspired performance behind senior forward Blake Hinson, who scored 23 points en route to his team’s 80-76 victory, its first at Cameron Indoor since 1979. Duke’s loss, on the other hand, ended a winning run that stretched back eight games leading into Saturday night.

"Give credit to Pitt, they came ready to play and hit some really tough shots," said head coach Jon Scheyer. "We have to watch the game, learn from it, move on quickly."

A banged up Blue Devil squad resulted in junior guard Jaylen Blakes getting his first start this season, starting as one of four guards along with sophomore center Kyle Filipowski. Those guards — and Pittsburgh’s — would prove pivotal in a tight contest from start to finish.

Back-to-back layups from freshmen guard Jared McCain in the final three minutes brought Duke (13-4, 4-2 in the ACC) within one, 72-71, with 1:07 remaining. But on the next possession, Pittsburgh freshman Jaland Lowe connected on the biggest triple of his young career with 43 seconds remaining, effectively icing the game. 

Filipowski knocked down a three with 10.1 seconds remaining, as the Blue Devils trailed 77-75. But Lowe calmly knocked down two free throws to seal the deal. 

Both sides started to heat up offensively after the under-12 media timeout in the second half, as the Blue Devils connected on multiple key 3-pointers, including one by Filipowski to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 61-60 with 7:53 remaining. He followed this up with a swooping and-one to give Duke the advantage. 

But Hinson responded with more buckets, and every time Duke made an effort to take the lead, the Deltona, Fla., native punched back from behind the arc, putting his team on his back. The Panthers (11-7, 2-5) increased their lead to 72-67 with 3:10 remaining. 

Hinson and the Cameron Crazies chirped back-and-forth in the early minutes of the second half, and he received a technical foul with 16:20 remaining. Freshman guard Jared McCain knocked down 3-of-4 free throw attempts and after he scored on the subsequent possession, the game was once again tied at 45. 

However, Hinson shook that off and kept taking and making difficult looks from deep. He shot an impeccable 100% from downtown and was by far the visitors’ most potent offensive threat. Even more impressively, he did this with four fouls for the final seven minutes of the game. 

"I thought [Hinson] hit some tough shots," Scheyer said. "But anytime you give a guy an open shot right away, that can change the course of the game."

He averaged 18.1 points per game leading into Saturday night’s game — good for fifth in the conference — and can get his shot up on top of anybody, making the 6-foot-8 player a difficult assignment. While Ryan Young started in the half instead of Blakes, the Blue Devils sorely missed the defensive prowess of Mark Mitchell, out with a lingering knee injury. 

For as impressive as Hinson was, Foster and McCain’s 3-point shooting ignited the Blue Devils. They hit a combined six triples and showed great poise in the absence of senior guard Jeremy Roach with a knee injury.

After being outscored 20-8 in the paint in the first half, Duke also made a deliberate effort to attack the basket in the second. The Panthers got in foul trouble early, and the Blue Devils were in the bonus from the 16:20 mark onward. The offense ran through Filipowski, who got the Blue Devils back on track. He was aggressive going to the line and his post presence helped space the floor and get shooters open. 

Pittsburgh came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, as a Federiko Federiko slam on the first possession set the tone early. The smaller Duke lineup struggled to contain the length of the opposing starters, and the Panthers took advantage of the mismatches, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. 

Scheyer was forced to call an early timeout, and it looked to be a long evening for the Blue Devils. Hinson was a big part of the early spurt, rising up to connect on multiple threes. 

"I thought we came out passive, I thought the defensive impacted our offense because we weren't ready at the level we needed to be," Scheyer said. 

But Duke’s freshman backcourt responded. Foster and McCain knocked down consecutive triples to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 21-16. After a forced shot clock violation from a Ryan Young block on Hinson, sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor joined the 3-point barrage and the Panthers’ lead temporarily disappeared. 

Duke tied the game 23-23 with 7:54 in the first half after two Proctor free throws, and McCain hit an NBA-range three in rhythm to give the Blue Devils the lead. The trio in the backcourt scored a combined 24 points in the half, including six triples. 

However, the Panthers entered the locker room with momentum, finishing on a 15-8 run and leading 38-34. The Panthers executed the pick-and-roll with the athletic Federiko, as the 6-foot-11 center recorded back-to-back slams. 

Up next for Duke is a Tuesday evening trip to Louisville, where it will hope to get back to winning ways.

Ranjan Jindal profile
Ranjan Jindal | Sports Editor

Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity sophomore and sports editor of The Chronicle's 120th volume.


Share and discuss “ICEBURGH: No. 7 Duke men's basketball stunned at home by hot-handed Pittsburgh, snaps 8-game win streak” on social media.