Duquesne (4-3) vs. Pittsburgh (7-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 5, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CONSOL Energy Center (19,758) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Duquesne 3-1, Pitt 6-0. Away Record: Duquesne 1-2, Pitt 0-0. Neutral Record: Duquesne 0-0, Pitt 1-1. Conference Record: Duquesne 0-0, Pitt 0-0. Series Record: Pittsburgh leads, 49-31.
GAME NOTES: Steel City rivals meet on Wednesday night, as the Duquesne Dukes take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at CONSOL Energy Center in the 81st annual City Game.
Duquesne started the year a disappointing 1-3, but since then it has been able to reel off three straight wins to move above .500 for the first time. The Dukes' latest victory came at home last Saturday in an 87-73 decision over Maine.
The Panthers haven't encountered many road blocks this season, as they have won seven of their first eight games -- the lone setback coming on a neutral floor versus nationally-ranked Michigan, 67-62. Since that defeat, Pitt has won three games in a row over Delaware (85-59), Howard (70-46) and Detroit (74-61), its latest win being the school's 1,500th all-time.
Pitt leads this rivalry by a 49-31 margin. This marks just the ninth time in the past 27 meetings that both teams enter the matchup with a winning record.
The Dukes' bout with Maine last Saturday was a back-and-forth affair until they pulled away with a 13-3 run over the final 2:25 to capture the 14-point win. They shot an impressive 49.1 percent from the field in the victory, which included the conversion of half their three-point attempts (12-of-24). Jeremiah Jones led the way with 15 points, while Kadeem Pantophlet tallied 14 points and seven rebounds, and Sean Johnson and Quevyn Winters scored 13 points apiece. The strong shooting performance was a rare occurrence for Duquesne, as it makes good on only 41.3 percent of its field goal attempts for 71.1 ppg, a mere half point greater than what its opponents average (70.6 ppg). Johnson paces the attack with 11.7 ppg, but he does so on just 36.8 percent shooting. Winters is a formidable sixth-man with 10.9 ppg, and Derrick Colter runs the point with 10.4 ppg and 4.6 apg. Six different players grab at least 4.0 rpg, which leads to a solid plus-5.4 rebounding margin.
Pitt was actually losing to Detroit by double figures in the first half before rallying after intermission to earn the 13-point victory. After shooting just 35.7 percent in the opening 20 minutes, it knocked down 14-of-22 from the field in the second half (.636) and it connected on 18-of-23 from the foul line in the game to help secure the win. Pacing four players in double figures was Talib Zanna with 16 points on a nearly perfect night from the stripe (10- of-11). Tray Woodall made 4-of-5 three-point attempts for 14 points, Lamar Patterson finished with 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists, and James Robinson added 11 points and six assists. On the season, Zanna is both the team's leading scorer (13.6 ppg) and rebounder (5.9 rpg), while Tray Woodall logs 12.9 ppg and 5.6 apg. J.J. Moore comes off the bench to net 10.8 ppg, and while Patterson averages just 8.4 ppg, he has been a solid all-around contributor in the last four contests (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.8 apg).
With local bragging rights on the line, both teams are sure to leave everything on the floor in this matchup. Duquesne has been on a run after a slow start, but Pitt has been firing on all cylinders all season and its balanced attack should allow it to move to 8-1.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh 77, Duquesne 70
12/05 10:35:11 ET