Pittsburgh, PA – The Pitt Panthers notched their second consecutive victory with a 76-64 win over their crosstown foes, the Duquesne Dukes, Friday night at PPG Paints Arena. The win marks the 33rd win in the last 36 meetings for Pitt in the annual City Game. Senior big Ryan Luther led the way for Pitt by scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Freshman point guard Marcus Carr had another strong performance, scoring 15 points and dishing out five assists. Duquesne was led in scoring by under classman guards Mike Lewis and Eric Williams, who had 20 and 19 points, respectively. The two were the only Dukes’ players to reach double-figures.
Luther helped carry Pitt to one of their best first-half performances of the season thus far, netting 12 points and pulling down seven rebounds before intermission. Pitt led 37-26 at the break. In addition to his stretch four capabilities, Luther showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and score off the bounce. Furthermore, Luther has a propensity for finding an open teammate and is an above-average passer for his size, shown by his four assists in the game. On defense, Luther guards the ball well in the post and shows high defensive awareness, as evidenced by the three steals he recorded in the game, to along with strong help side defense.
For Duquesne, freshman swingman Williams had a strong all-around game. In addition to his 19 points, Williams logged a team-high eight rebounds, recorded three steals, and added a block. He displayed a high motor, and made some tough, timely baskets to keep Duquesne close in the second half. The 6-5 lefty showed a solid shooting form, however he made only 1-of-4 three point shots and was 5-of-9 from the foul line. Williams is a capable shooter, but excels more as a slasher and in open-court, as he can drive and score off the bounce going either direction.
Pitt point guard Carr followed up a career-high performance with another strong showing. In accumulating 15 points and five assists, the freshman was an efficient 6-of-8 from the floor, ran the offense and handled the ball well, demonstrated good court vision and passing ability and did not commit a turnover. Two other Pitt freshman put up solid performances, as 6-6 combo forward Shamiel Stevenson posted 13 points and seven rebounds, while 6-5 shooter Parker Stewart put up 14 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-pt range.
Duquesne sophomore guard Lewis scored a game-high 20 points in the loss, but did so mostly while struggling from the field. A bit of a volume shooter, Lewis possesses solid form on his jumper, but struggles with accuracy, as evidenced by a 4-of-12 effort from 3-point land and 6-of-17 shooting overall. Lewis seems better equipped to shoot from mid-range, but is streaky and can get hot, as he made three long jumpers on consecutive possessions early in the second half. Lewis displayed some facilitating ability and passing vision in the game as well. Leading scorer for the Dukes, Rene Castro-Caneddy, who came into the game averaging 20 points a game, struggled mightily in this one, going 0-of-7 from the floor and was held scoreless in 24 minutes of action.
Pitt will look to push its winning streak to three Tuesday night, as they host Mount St. Mary’s, while Duquesne will look to bounce back on Monday, as they welcome Maryland-Eastern Shore to town.
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