Wright paces Pitt past Duquesne in City Game
A career day by Pitt's Cameron Wright helped dash what could have been a memorable afternoon for Duquesne.
Led by the junior's 20 points, Pitt used a 15-1 run to erase a rare second-half deficit in a 84-67 victory Saturday over City Game rival Duquesne at Consol Energy Center.
Pitt (7-0) beat its crosstown rival for the 13th consecutive time, but Duquesne (2-3) kept it close until the final 10 minutes for the 11,146 in attendance.
With 18:22 left, Duquesne led 44-41 when junior Tra'Vaughn White made consecutive 3-pointers. It was the first time this season Pitt has trailed after halftime. But the Panthers scored the next 12 points, including five by Wright in what became a 15-1 run.
Wright never had scored more than 13 points, but he has become more aggressive.
“I wouldn't say I'm a different player,” said Wright, who mostly credited his teammates. “I think they're looking for me to shoot sometimes, so when you're wide open, you've got to shoot.”
Key was his layup and free throw with 14:13 left, which stretched a four-point gap into a 51-44 lead. The 6-foot-4 guard made 9 of 17 shots with two 3-pointers.
“He has much more of an aggressive offensive mindset,” said Duquesne sophomore Jeremiah Jones, who also faced Wright in the summer. “He was making some shots today. His mid-range shot has improved. He was attacking the basket well. He played a good game.”
It was the fifth time in six games that Pitt had a 20-point scorer. Lamar Patterson has reached the mark three times and Talib Zanna once.
“They're definitely one of the better teams in the country with the way they're playing,” Duquesne senior Ovie Soko said.
“They're so unselfish. Everybody on the team plays to their strengths. You really have to be locked in defensively.”
Patterson scored 18 points, Zanna had 13 points, and Durand Johnson had 11.
During Pitt's 15-1 run, Duquesne went nearly six minutes between baskets. During their dismal stretch, the Dukes missed six shots, had two turnovers and made only one of six free throws. Before junior Dominique McKoy's streak-stopping layup with 12:27 left, Pitt's lead had reached 56-45.
Duquesne made just 18 of 35 free throws, including just 11 of 20 by Soko.
“When you're playing against a team as good as Pitt, you can't leave that many free throws on the line,” he said.
Soko led Duquesne with 17 points, but just six came after halftime. Jones had 13 points, and Derrick Colter had 12.
Against a smaller Duquesne lineup, Pitt led in rebounds (45-31) and points in the paint (40-22). But much of that came in the second half.
“I think we got worn down,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry said. “That's a good team. It's a big team, a physical team. They have a lot of depth. We were down three scholarship players, and I think it showed.”
In the first half, Pitt outrebounded Duquesne by only one (19-18). As a result, the Panthers held their smallest halftime lead this season at 39-35. They had trailed 32-30 until a 7-0 run just before halftime.
Pitt outscored its first six opponents in the first half by 21.7 points. Before Saturday, its slimmest halftime lead was 15 points over Stanford.
Pitt made six of its first nine shots and led 14-3. But Duquesne rallied to force ties at 19 and 21. Two free throws by Soko with 7:21 before halftime gave Duquesne a 23-21 lead. After ties at 28, 30 and 32, a Wright layup gave Pitt a 34-32 lead with 3:13 left. Wright's basket was part of Pitt's 7-0 run.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Jones said, “and they got the last run.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harrison woman dead in 3-car crash in Natrona Heights
- Pittsburgh City Council President officially cited for dumping trash on steps of South Side business
- Richland man sues over injuries suffered as bystander to police chase
- Police arrest 14-year-old in connection to bomb threats phoned in to South Hills schools
- Penguins send down pair, Bortuzzo practices
- Rape charges dropped against NY man, statute of limitations expired
- Duquesne Light workers find decomposing body
- Steelers looking for Spence to step up game at inside linebacker
- Opposing defenses find success against Steelers by eschewing blitz
- Unpaid August Wilson creditors seek help from judge
- County investigators determine fatal McKeesport fire started in living room