Pitt hopes to keep momentum with City Game against Duquesne

Maddie Meyer

After running roughshod over Texas Tech and Stanford this week, Pitt gets back home (sort of) and turns their attention to Duquesne for the annual City Game. Based on what we've seen out of the Panthers, it doesn't seem likely that they'll have much trouble with the Dukes at the Consol Center on Saturday, but Pitt should be on guard.

With Thanksgiving weekend here, you hope that the chance for distractions will be kept to a minimum - particularly for the younger guys. Still, even with that and with it being a mini-rivalry game, it's still difficult to see the Dukes challenging Pitt too much here.

Duquesne is only 2-2 on the year and one of their losses came courtesy of New Hampshire. They beat Albany and Abilene-Christian for their only wins.

One cause of concern for Pitt should be the Dukes' offense. As they've done in the past, Duquesne focuses on scoring and hoists a bunch of threes - the team is averaging 20 long-distance shots per game so far this season. If the game becomes a shootout and the Panthers somehow don't get shots to fall, Duquesne could keep things close if their shots are falling.

Despite that focus from beyond the arc, one of Pitt's main objectives will be to stop 6'7" senior forward Ovie Soko. Soko, a UAB transfer, averages just over 18 points and 11 rebounds per game and is the Dukes' best player. In the team's only other major contest this season, Soko showed up in a big way against West Virginia with 19 points and 12 boards, slightly surpassing his season averages.

If the Panthers can slow him down and keep Duquesne at bay from the outside, Pitt will almost certainly have their seventh win.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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