PITTSBURGH (AP) – Ryan Luther scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Pitt pulled away late for a 76-64 victory over Duquesne in the annual City Game on Friday night.
Parker Stewart added a career-high 14 points for the Panthers (4-4), who won their fourth straight and avenged a rare loss to the Dukes a year ago. Marcus Carr had 15 points and five assists for Pitt. Shamiel Stevenson chipped in 13 points as Pitt improved to 54-32 in a series that dates back to 1932.
Mike Lewis II led the Dukes (2-3) with 20 points and Eric Williams Jr. finished with 18 points and eight rebounds but Duquesne wore down late.
Pitt trailed only briefly in the opening minutes and led by as much as 12 before Duquesne pulled within 47-45 on a jumper by Williams with 12:55 to go. The Dukes never got any closer as Pitt moved the ball crisply to take control.
The 86th annual meeting of the two schools separated by 2.4 miles had a significantly different vibe than the 85 that came before. Both programs are in the midst of what figures to be a bumpy transition. First-year Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot is working with a shorthanded roster that features just six healthy scholarship players while Pitt coach Kevin Stallings is trying to work 11 new players into the mix.
Luther and point guard Jonathan Milligan, the only two holdovers from a Pitt team that lost to the Dukes for the first time since 2000 last December, provided an emotional spark. Luther slapped his hip after an early 3-pointer and when the Dukes threatened in the second half, he got in the paint and went to work. A pair of layups during a 14-4 surge gave the Panthers all the breathing room they would need.
Pitt: The Panthers are starting to get a grasp on Kevin Stallings’ offense. Pitt was 30 of 56 (53 percent) from the field and has shot better than 50 percent in each of its last four games.
Duquesne: The Depth and size are going to be an issue all season for the Dukes with five players sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules. The ones healthy and eligible will compete for Dambrot but some long nights likely await in the Atlantic 10.
Pitt: Welcomes Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday.
Duquesne: Hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore on Monday.
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