Duke Basketball began Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh with a 12-point run, and then repeated the feat to start the second half.
The Blue Devils went on to dominate the Panthers 96-69 in the ACC tournament quarterfinals at Greensboro Coliseum. Kyle Filipowski’s 22-point performance led the way for Duke, which has won seven consecutive games and 10 of the past 12.
The fourth-seeded Blue Devils (24-8) will now face top-seeded Miami in the tournament semifinals on Friday night at 7 pm.
The Duke Blue Devils dominated Coach Capel’s Panthers (22-11), shooting an outstanding 62.1% and setting an ACC tournament single-game record with 27 assists, while hitting 11 of 26 3-pointers.
Coach Jon Scheyer of Duke commented on the team’s success in their match against Pitt, saying, “It’s a reflection on these guys for how they’ve grown together as a team and just making the right play; really some beautiful plays.”
The Blue Devils had an impressive start to the game, scoring 48 points in the first half, the highest they had scored in a half all season. Scheyer said, “The job that these guys did, to come out just ready to go right from the start, was incredibly important.”
In addition to Filipowski’s production, fellow first-year Dereck Lively equaled his single-game high with 13 points. Another freshman, Mark Mitchell, scored 12 points, while his classmate, Tyrese Proctor, tallied 11 points and 10 assists.
Proctor stated that the team plays its best when players are in the right positions and taking advantage of open shots. He noted that he was able to find them at the right time, and the success of the play was then up to the players.
Pitt’s overall shooting percentage was 42.3%, while they made only 5 of 18 3-pointers (27.8%). Nike Sibande led the team with 17 points, while first-team, all-ACC guard Jamarius Burton contributed 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Capel, a former Duke player and assistant coach for Pitt, noted that they could not seem to get into a flow on offense. He mentioned that they missed some shots early and that it was the first time in a long while that they were rocked and could not respond. He was let down but acknowledged that they faced an excellent team that was performing at their best.
The only issue for the Blue Devils at the start of the first half was when Filipowski went down with a hurt left ankle. He was assisted to the sidelines, yet returned to the game after medical attention and continued to perform greatly.
“We’ll get him to the hotel, get him checked out, and then move on,” Scheyer stated.
“But he looked pretty good to me when he got back out there.” The Blue Devils positively overwhelmed Pitt from the beginning of the match, netting the first 12 points and keeping their lead at least 8 points throughout the half.
Filipowski, after making two 3-point shots, had to leave the game at 17:27 due to a collision with Blake Hinson from Pitt, resulting in an injured left ankle. However, that did not dampen the Blue Devils’ enthusiasm, and Filipowski, having had his ankle re-taped, rejoined the game at 11:16 with Duke ahead 16-6.
The Blue Devils displayed an efficient 63% shooting performance in the first half, scoring 17 out of 27 shots, while only committing four turnovers.
Filipowski netted 14 points, while Lively and Roach each added seven points to Duke’s total.
The defense also held Pitt to a 41.7% shooting rate, only allowing them to make 10 out of 24 shots.
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