Duquesne ends skid against Pitt in City Game in 64-55 upset
PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Lewis II scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, including five straight during a late game-turning surge to lift Duquesne to a 64-55 upset over Pittsburgh in the annual City Game on Friday night.
Emile Blackman led the Dukes (4-5) with 21 points and Tarin Smith added 12 for Duquesne, which beat the Panthers (6-2) for the first time in 16 years in a rivalry that dates back to 1932.
Mike Young finished with 19 points for Pitt but struggled in the second half. Cam Johnson added 14 points and Chris Jones chipped in 11 but the Panthers couldn't find much flow offensively without Jamel Artis. The senior forward watched from the bench in a sweatsuit while serving a one-game suspension for ''failing to live up to the standards of a University of Pittsburgh basketball player.''
Pitt certainly could have used him. Three days after throttling Maryland on the road in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Panthers looked flat and failed to get stops late.
A 3-pointer by Smith from the corner put Duquesne up 47-38 with 12:35 to go but Pitt responded with a 10-0 run to briefly reclaim the lead on a Ryan Luther lay-up.
The Dukes, who have struggled to close out games at times - most notably in losses to Canisius and Tennessee-Martin - didn't back down this time. Rene Castro and Blackman drilled back-to-back 3s and Duquesne never trailed again.
Young, who dominated the first half, shot just 1 of 11 from the field in the second half. The Panthers missed all 12 of their 3-point attempts over the final 20 minutes. When Johnson missed the final one, the Dukes ran out the clock before students stormed the floor at PPG Paints Arena.
Duquesne: The victory gives fifth-year coach Jim Ferry a massive boost at a time he desperately needed it. The Dukes were picked to finish near the bottom of the Atlantic 10 and still have issues but the play of its backcourt should give them a serious uptick in confidence at least in the short term.
Pitt: The Panthers need Artis. Coach Kevin Stallings declared him the team's ''point forward'' before the season started and it's pretty apparent why after Pitt struggled to get into any kind of offensive rhythm outside of whatever Young could get going almost exclusively on his own.
Duquesne: heads a couple blocks from campus to play at PPG Paints Arena again next Tuesday to take on Robert Morris.
Pitt: hosts Buffalo on Wednesday before a trip to New Jersey to face Penn State in the Never Forget Tribute Classic on Dec. 10.
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