PITT
DUQ

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Luther leads Pittsburgh to 76-64 win over Duquesne

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ryan Luther is one of just two holdovers from a Pittsburgh team that endured a rare loss to rival Duquesne in the City Game last December, one of the low points in a season full of them.

While another potentially long winter awaits for the rebuilding Panthers, Luther wasn't about to be part of a team that dropped consecutive games to the Dukes for the first time in 37 years. The senior forward scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and provided his 11 new teammates with an emotional lift as Pitt pulled away for a 76-64 victory on Friday night.

''Being a senior, I'm trying to give energy to the young guys, play with a little bit more talk, little bit more emotion,'' Luther said.

It showed. Luther slapped his hip after drilling a first-half 3-pointer and after the Dukes had trimmed a 12-point deficit to a single bucket in the second half, his steadying presence helped calm the Panthers down. A pair of lay-ups during a game-deciding 14-4 surge pushed Pitt (4-4) to its third straight victory.

''We needed to just sit down and play defense,'' Luther said. ''We know whenever our defense is set and everyone is talking ... our offense comes after that, that's what we were telling ourselves.''

Parker Stewart added a career-high 14 points for the Panthers. Marcus Carr had 15 points and five assists for Pitt and Shamiel Stevenson chipped in 13 points as Pitt improved to 54-32 in a series that dates back to 1932.

''I didn't want to come in and be the stooge that lost the first two (to Duquesne), golly,'' said Pitt second-year coach Kevin Stallings.

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. The Dukes shot 39 percent (14 of 36) in the second half and made only five baskets over the final 10 minutes.

''My feeling is we're in disarray,'' said first-year Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot. ''When I've had my really good teams, they know what to do when. Our team right now has no consistency. I'm asking them to do some things they've never had to do before.''

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. Dambrot is working with a shorthanded roster that features just six healthy scholarship players while Stallings is trying to get a feel for what combinations work.

While Dambrot wanted to beat the Panthers, he said before the game he had ''bigger fish to fry'' as he tries to resuscitate his father Sid's alma mater. It's much the same for Stallings, who went 16-17 last winter and then oversaw a massive player overhaul.

Luther is one of the few constants, and Pitt will need his leadership if it wants to navigate a brutal Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. That challenge is still a month off. For now, the Panthers are simply trying to get a little better each time out. After a 1-4 start, it appears to be happening.

''We kind of figured some other stuff out that suits us and I think they like it,'' Stallings said. ''If they like it and it works for us, that's a good thing.''

BIG PICTURE

Pitt: The Panthers are starting to get a grasp on 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 difficult nights lie ahead in the Atlantic 10.

''We're going to have a good program here, I'm sure of it,'' Dambrot said. ''I'm just not sure it's going to be this year.''

UP NEXT

Pitt: Welcomes Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday.

Duquesne: Hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore on Monday.

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Key Players
R. Luther
T. Smith
3 G
34.0 Min. Per Game 34.0
12.8 Pts. Per Game 12.8
2.5 Ast. Per Game 2.5
4.3 Reb. Per Game 4.3
48.2 Field Goal % 36.6
42.3 Three Point % 0.0
70.8 Free Throw % 79.3
+ 1 Mike Lewis II made 2nd of 2 free throws 20.0
+ 1 Mike Lewis II made 1st of 2 free throws 20.0
  Personal foul on Parker Stewart 20.0
  Offensive rebound by Duquesne 21.0
  Eric Williams Jr. missed layup, blocked by Kene Chukwuka 23.0
  Out of bounds turnover on Parker Stewart 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Parker Stewart 27.0
  Nicholas Kratholm missed 3-pt. jump shot 29.0
+ 1 Marcus Carr made 2nd of 2 free throws 37.0
+ 1 Marcus Carr made 1st of 2 free throws 37.0
  Personal foul on Eric Williams Jr. 37.0
Team Stats
Points 76 64
Field Goals 30-56 (53.6%) 23-58 (39.7%)
3-Pointers 9-22 (40.9%) 7-27 (25.9%)
Free Throws 7-11 (63.6%) 11-15 (73.3%)
Total Rebounds 33 34
Offensive 7 11
Defensive 23 19
Team 3 4
Assists 19 9
Steals 5 5
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 8 11
Fouls 13 12
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
20 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Pittsburgh 4-4 373976
home team logo Duquesne 2-3 263864
Team Stats
away team logo Pittsburgh 4-4 69.9 PPG 40.2 RPG 11.7 APG
home team logo Duquesne 2-3 73.5 PPG 38.1 RPG 13.8 APG
Key Players
00
R. Luther F PPG RPG APG FG%
1
M. Lewis II G 5.6 PPG 0.8 RPG 0.4 APG 38.3 FG%
Top Scorers
R. Luther F 16 PTS 9 REB 4 AST
M. Lewis II G 20 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
53.6 FG% 39.7
40.9 3PT FG% 25.9
63.6 FT% 73.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Luther 16 9 4 7/15 2/3 0/1 3 37 3 0 1 4 5
M. Carr 15 3 5 6/8 1/2 2/2 0 32 1 0 0 0 3
S. Stevenson 13 7 2 4/5 0/0 5/8 2 27 0 0 3 1 6
J. Milligan 4 2 2 2/5 0/2 0/0 2 29 0 0 2 0 2
J. Wilson-Frame 3 2 1 1/9 1/6 0/0 2 21 0 0 0 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Luther 16 9 4 7/15 2/3 0/1 3 37 3 0 1 4 5
M. Carr 15 3 5 6/8 1/2 2/2 0 32 1 0 0 0 3
S. Stevenson 13 7 2 4/5 0/0 5/8 2 27 0 0 3 1 6
J. Milligan 4 2 2 2/5 0/2 0/0 2 29 0 0 2 0 2
J. Wilson-Frame 3 2 1 1/9 1/6 0/0 2 21 0 0 0 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Stewart 14 2 2 5/7 4/6 0/0 2 26 0 0 1 0 2
K. Chukwuka 9 4 2 4/5 1/2 0/0 1 15 1 1 0 2 2
K. Davis 2 1 1 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 11 0 0 1 0 1
M. Boykins 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
T. Brown 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Z. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Ilegomah - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mascaro - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Starzynski - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 76 30 19 30/56 9/22 7/11 13 200 5 1 8 7 23
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Lewis II 20 1 2 6/17 4/12 4/4 1 34 1 0 1 0 1
E. Williams Jr. 18 8 0 6/12 1/4 5/9 3 36 3 1 2 3 5
T. Verhoeven 8 5 0 4/7 0/0 0/0 3 32 0 3 1 2 3
R. Castro-Caneddy 0 0 2 0/7 0/4 0/0 0 24 0 0 1 0 0
C. Brown 0 3 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 5 0 0 2 0 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Lewis II 20 1 2 6/17 4/12 4/4 1 34 1 0 1 0 1
E. Williams Jr. 18 8 0 6/12 1/4 5/9 3 36 3 1 2 3 5
T. Verhoeven 8 5 0 4/7 0/0 0/0 3 32 0 3 1 2 3
R. Castro-Caneddy 0 0 2 0/7 0/4 0/0 0 24 0 0 1 0 0
C. Brown 0 3 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 5 0 0 2 0 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Taylor 8 8 1 4/5 0/1 0/0 1 18 0 0 0 5 3
N. Kratholm 6 1 1 2/3 2/3 0/0 0 6 0 0 0 0 1
J. Robinson 2 3 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 2 17 0 0 1 1 2
T. Smith 2 1 3 0/3 0/2 2/2 0 23 1 0 3 0 1
E. James 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0
Z. Snyder - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Krivacevic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 64 30 9 23/58 7/27 11/15 12 200 5 4 11 11 19