DURHAM, N.C. — Pitt blew an 11-point halftime lead Wednesday night and lost 77-69 to No. 24 Duke.
The Panthers – who were aiming for their third win of the season over a ranked opponent – haven’t won inside Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1979; so long ago that current Pitt coach Jeff Capel hadn’t yet celebrated his fourth birthday.
Pitt simply had no answer for Duke in the second half. More specifically, the Panthers couldn’t stop freshman big man Kyle Filipowski, who had 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with 15 boards and two assists. Duke also got 10 points from Mark Mitchell, and 14 points and five assists from Tyrese Proctor.
Jamarius Burton led Pitt with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists. Nelly Cummings had 14 points too, while Nike Sibande chipped in 11 points and six boards, and Blake Hinson tallied 10 points.
The Panthers fell behind Duke early on, but then broke off a 10-4 run to take a three-point lead. Pitt proved to have more than just that spurt in it though. Later in the first half, the Panthers embarked on a 13-2 run to take a 12-point lead with under nine minutes till halftime. Burton scored seven points during that span.
After Burton picked up his second foul and went to the bench, Duke evened the score a bit, but Pitt still led by 11 points at halftime after a 9-0 run over the final three minutes. Eight different Panthers scored in the first half and Pitt was shooting 56.7% from the floor while the Blue Devils were connecting on just 30.3% of their shots. The Panthers also had seven first-half steals and Duke had more turnovers (12) than baskets made (10).
Duke pulled ahead in the second half though. Over a stretch of about four minutes, the Blue Devils went on a 15-0 run to take a seven-point lead with about eight minutes to play. Filipowski scored six points in that span for Duke, while Pitt missed six shot attempts and had two turnovers.
Pitt closed the gap to four points, but Duke pulled away again, closing the game with a 6-2 run.
It’s the first time this season that Duke has won after trailing at halftime. The Blue Devils were previously 0-4 in those situations.
After scoring 43 points in the first half, Pitt scored just 26 in the second on 8-of-27 shooting.
Duke really dominated Pitt in the paint, as the Blue Devils outscored the Panthers there 34-20. Duke also won the rebounding battled 51-28 and outscored Pitt 19-8 on second-chance points.
Pitt has now lost two straight after posting a five-game winning streak. The Panthers will aim to get back in the win column on Saturday at Georgia Tech.