Duquesne understandably came into tonight's matchup against Pitt with high hopes of ending their losing streak in the City Game, but in the end, were pretty easily defeated, 76-62.
It wasn't Pitt's best game overall, but the Dukes shot horribly. Duquesne is a run and gun type of team that came into the game in the top ten in the nation in scoring. They'll give up points, but their goal is to knock down a lot of shots and essentially, be hot enough from the field to win. When you shoot less than 40% like they did tonight, though, more often than not, they're going to lose to better teams.
The Panthers were pretty active on defense I thought, but Duquesne just couldn't make shots - several of which were often good looks. Just one of those things that is bound to happen to a team relying so much on the perimeter game.
Pitt got huge nights from James Robinson and Joseph Uchebo. Both had career-highs in points (Robinson with 23 and Uchebo with 12) and Uchebo added nine rebounds.
Robinson's night, to me, continues to prove why he's growing as a player. Many questioned his ability to score more (including me), but he's really showing he's capable of that. He was nearly 50% from the field (6-14) and also had only two turnovers despite being such a factor on offense. The eight three-pointers he took were far too many for me, but he knocked down three of them, and overall, had a good night.
Some might have a different view of Uchebo than I did, but while he had a good night, I wouldn't hold your breath on him being a breakout player. He still moves kind of awkwardly for me and really benefited from Duquesne's lack of size tonight. I'm not trying to rain on his parade here, but I'm not expecting him to do the same to good ACC teams that have more of a presence in the middle. He played well tonight, though, so you have to give him credit.
In addition Josh Newkirk had 16 off the bench and Jamel Artis quietly had a near double-double with nine points and ten rebounds. Mike Young had seven rebounds, but foul trouble plagued him and he had only a single point.
One other note is that Sheldon Jeter didn't get into the game for whatever reason - at least according to ESPN's box score.
Tonight also marked the return of Cam Wright who played his first game of the season since surgery a while back. He didn't play a ton and wasn't a factor (he was scoreless on 0-2 shooting). Still, it was good to at least see him out there and with eight days until Pitt's next game, he should be in better shape by then.
Solid win here - nothing that is going to be a resume-builder, but it gets the team to 5-3 on the year and is a nice rebound from the Indiana nightmare earlier this week.
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