The senior guard crammed 20 points into his limited playing time
Monday night and sparked a decisive second-half run that helped the
17th-ranked Duke Blue Devils beat the 18th-ranked Pittsburgh
Dawkins made seven of nine shots from the field, including six of
seven from 3-point range. Duke (17-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference)
is 10-0 this season when Dawkins scores in double figures and 39-2
during his career.
"I got a text from his father that said Andre would have scored 40
points if you would had played him 30 minutes," Duke coach Mike
Krzyzewski said jokingly. "We ran some plays to get some looks for
him, and our players got looks for him, and, boom, all of a sudden
we had a double-digit lead.
"We played hard, they played hard, but I think Andre was the
difference. When you go 6-for-7, that's pretty darned good."
Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker scored a game-high 21 points and
had 11 rebounds for his third straight double-double and seventh of
the season. Sophomore forward Amile Jefferson added 14 points and 10
rebounds, and sophomore forward Rodney Hood finished with 13 points
as the Blue Devils ran their winning streak to five games.
However, it was Dawkins who sparked an 18-6 run that put Duke ahead
72-57 with 3:16 remaining. He scored 11 points during that spurt,
hitting three 3-pointers.
After Pitt (18-3, 6-2) closed within 72-62, Dawkins put the Panthers
away by draining another 3 with 2:10 to go.
Duke took the lead for good at 44-40 with 15:24 left after a jumper
by Hood and a layup by Johnson.
"Dawkins did a good job, but he was also open, and that falls on
us," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "We tried different things, but
our zone gave up two open 3s. We didn't handle guarding the handoffs
and the ball screens.
"The defensive end really stands out because we didn't get it done.
We had two days to prepare, and I obviously didn't get the message
across. That's one on me."
Pitt was led by senior forward Lamar Patterson's 14 points, though
he was just 4-for-14 from the floor and committed five turnovers as
the Panthers had their two-game winning streak snapped.
[to top of second column]
Senior center Talib Zanna had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and
sophomore guard James Robinson added 10 points and five assists.
Zanna finished 2-for-7 from the field after entering the game
shooting 61.9 percent for the season.
"They were denying me the ball the whole game," Patterson said. "We
were expecting it. We just didn't get it done."
Idle Virginia (15-5, 6-1) took over sole possession of second place
in the ACC with Pitt's loss. Duke and Pitt are now tied for third,
while No. 2 Syracuse (19-0, 6-0) remains atop the standings.
The top four teams meet this weekend. Duke visits Syracuse on
Saturday, and Pitt hosts Virginia on Sunday.
Parker scored 16 of his points in the first half as Duke took a
34-32 lead at intermission. It was a closely contested half that
included nine lead changes and five ties.
Duke improved to 2-2 in true road games and 2-2 against ranked teams
"This was our best win of the season, especially considering the
opponent and the venue," Krzyzewski said. "This is one of our
youngest teams, and they've had to learn under fire. Tonight, we
played very well and with a lot of poise. Pitt is really good, and
we feel good about getting out of here with a win."
NOTES: The contest was hyped as the biggest regular-season college
basketball game ever played in Pittsburgh, and some evidence came in
the fact that seats were going for as much as $1,200 apiece on the
secondary ticket market. ... Both coaches took part in a pregame
ceremony honoring Dick Groat, who was an All-America guard at Duke
in the 1950s and has served as the color commentator on Pitt radio
broadcasts for 35 years. ... Duke last played at Pitt on Jan. 12,
1974, with the Panthers winning 64-42 at Fitzgerald Field House. The
schools' last meeting overall came on Dec. 20, 2007, with Pitt
winning 65-64 in the Aeropostale Classic at Madison Square Garden in
New York. ... The game marked the 23rd time that ranked teams met in
the 12-year history of the Petersen Events Center.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.