Panthers Respond Positively From Purdue Loss, Blow Out Duquesne In City Game


Dec 4, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard James Robinson (0) holds up the Dapper Dan Trophy after defeated the Duquesne Dukes 96-75 in the City Game at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Many Panthers‘ fans wondered how their basketball squad would respond following a hard-fought battle against Purdue on Tuesday night.

Duquesne thought they had their best chance in recent years to beat Pitt and claim the City Game for the first time in 15 years, as they came into the game averaging 86 points, along with their best start in 8 years.

Pitt had other plans.

Duquesne may have blown out Penn State 78-52, but Pitt is a much better team than the Nittany Lions.

The Panthers came out and smacked Duquesne in the mouth early, scoring 22 of the first 26 points and nearly winning by 30 points at halftime.  Pitt shot 19 of 28 (67%) in the first half.

Pitt failed to get its lineup in on time, so Duquesne was awarded a free throw before the game even started.  It was the only time that the Dukes led in the game.

Duquesne would never get closer than 18 points to the Panthers, who dominated in all facets of the game, resulting in a final score of 96-75.

Pitt shot the ball confidently (31 of 56 for 55%) and made several spectacular passes (22 assists).  The Duquesne defense was no comparison (talent or size) to that of Purdue, who has the No. 1 field goal defense in the nation.  The Dukes were out-rebounded 40-29.

Junior forward Michael Young scored 20 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, while senior point guard James Robinson scored 18 points and 8 assists.  Coppin State graduate transfer Sterling Smith continues to assert himself at Pitt, scoring 16 points and 11 rebounds for Pitt (5-1).  Junior forward Jamel Artis scored 14 points, and junior forward Sheldon Jeter came off the bench and added 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Brown graduate transfer Rafael Maia got his first start for Pitt at center, finishing with 9 points and 2 rebounds.

For Duquesne (6-2), Eric James came off the bench and scored 21 points, and Derrick Colter recorded 15 points.

Dukes guard Micah Mason, the second most accurate three-point shooter in NCAA history, finished with 11 points on 2 of 6 shooting from the three point line.  Pitt was not ready for another Ryan Cline incident like in the Purdue game.

Robinson buried all four of his three-point shots in the first half, and he continues to gain shooting confidence.  Duquesne’s Jeremiah Jones hit a buzzer beater 3-pointer at the half, and the Dukes crowd erupted, despite being down 57-30.

The game was essentially over in the first half, as Pitt locked down on defense and passed the ball around efficiently.  It was a promising sign to see Pitt respond from a game against No. 11 Purdue, in which the Panthers were winning 49-48 in the second half.

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Duquesne hasn’t beaten Pitt since 2000, and they’ll have to wait until 2016 for their next chance.


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Pitt and Duquesne held a pre-game moment of silence for the victims in the San Bernardino shooting.