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Duke 79 Pitt 65

Duke moves to 16-2; Coach K to 999-308 for his career. Duke got 53 points from three point shots and the foul line, while Quinn Cook got a rare double-double from the backcourt.

Monday Night Fever? Coach K gets down while motivating his team.
Monday Night Fever? Coach K gets down while motivating his team.
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Duke began a new home-winning streak Monday night, leading wire-to-wire in a 79-65 win over Pittsburgh. It was Duke's first appearance on ESPN's Big Monday and Pitt's first visit to Cameron as an ACC school. In fact, it was their first visit to Cameron since upsetting a Bill Foster-coached team in 1979.

It was a bit of Opposite Night for a Duke team that was led in points by Tyus Jones (22), in rebounds by Quinn Cook (10) and in assists (5) by Jahlil Okafor.

And there was that zone defense, which Duke used for most of the game. No one-hit wonder.

But there was one huge return to normalcy. Duke knocked down 11 3-pointers-in 23 attempts-while outscoring Pitt 33 to nine from beyond the arc.

Duke was coming off that huge win at Louisville barely 48 hours earlier and Mike Krzyzewski said Duke could have had a let-down. But Duke came out hitting on all cylinders, jumping to a 7-0 lead on a Tyus Jones 3-pointer and a 10-2 lead on a Cook 3-pointer.

The lead first hit double digits at 15-4 and never dropped below seven after that.

The first half was pretty close to a Duke clinic. Duke hit seven of 15 from 3-point range, committed only two turnovers and out-rebounded Pittsburgh 21-16.

A lesser bunch might have checked out at intermission. But Jamie Dixon hasn't won 20 or more games 11 straight seasons at Pitt by having that kind of team. Instead he has a team built on toughness and tenacity, a team that contests every possession.

In other words, the kind of team that doesn't go away easily. Pitt scored on their six possessions of the second half, three after offensive rebounds.

Krzyzewski said that the coaches were able to talk Duke through the zone in the first half, when Duke was playing defense in front of the Duke bench. When the sides were reversed in the second half, Duke lost that ability and the defense stopped communicating.

Fortunately, Duke was still scoring on its end. After the visitors got it to 44-34, Justise Winslow hit a 3-pointer, Tyus Jones hit another, then Jahlil Okafor got three the old-fashioned way.

Okafor's' three-point play made it 53-39.

The lead hit 20 at 62-42, when Jones converted a lay-up.

Jones credited his teammates for encouraging him to play his way out of his shooting slump.

"My teammates believe in me. They told me to just keep shooting. We're clicking on the offensive end. Shots fell tonight which they haven't for the last several games."

The biggest shot may have come with just over six minutes left when Jones stared down a defender and a shot clock approaching zero and drained a 22-foot bomb, making it 72-57.

Duke got careless on the offensive end after that, missing a couple of lay-ups and committing some sloppy turnovers, including a 10-second violation against light pressure.

Pitt closed to 73-63, with 3:09 left, enough time to complete the comeback. But Duke tightened up on defense and got a couple of stops. Amile Jefferson called that sequence "huge. They made a couple of runs where they cut it to 10 or 11 but we never let them break that 10-point mark."

Duke closed it out from the line, while holding Pitt to two points over their final seven possessions.

Mike Krzyzewski was visibly pleased to beat a Pitt team he calls " winners. They know how to win, they play you every play. When you can win against somebody who's really good, who's playing their butts off to, then it's even a better win. . . . They have strong kids, mind and body. I thought we met up with that challenge."

Jefferson agreed. "At times they stifled us. They're a very physical team. Physically, mentally, spiritually, their program is just strong. They play tough. We missed a couple of dunks early because they were really hitting us, pounding us and we had to refocus and hit back, fight back. Coach talked a lot about attacking."

And it looks like the zone is here to stay, although Krzyzewski did joke that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is demanding royalties. He says Duke is talking better in the zone. Tyus Jones says the zone "makes us communicate more. You have to be in sync. We're more comfortable because we've practiced it more."

However, Krzyzewski also noted that Duke played pretty good man-to-man defense in all those impressive early-season wins and there's no reason to think Duke can't do it again, especially if the offense continues to make shots.

So, options. Options are always good.


Winslow left the court twice for injuries, one a shoulder problem and then a rib injury. Krzyzewski said Winslow was "really banged up" and would spend the next few days getting medical attention. He also said he doesn't think it's anything serious

Duke ended up outrebounding Pitt 36-32, with Jefferson adding nine rebounds. Duke had 13 assists against nine turnovers. Pitt turned it over 11 times.

After going scoreless against Louisville, Rasheed Sulaimon gave Duke 13 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.

Post players Jefferson (4-4), Okafor (4-6) and Marshall Plumlee (2-2) helped Duke go 20-25 from the line.