PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Duke trimmed a 15-point deficit down to two late in the second half, but it proved to be too little, too late as Pittsburgh dealt the Blue Devils a 79-73 setback Tuesday night at Petersen Events Center.
In his first extended action since returning from a foot injury last week, freshman Jalen Johnson poured in a career-high 24 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists to lead the comeback effort for Duke. After the Panthers built their biggest lead of the night at the 16:29 mark of the second half, Johnson scored the Blue Devils’ next eight points to bring the deficit down to eight three and a-half minutes later.
Pittsburgh relied on timely shots from Justin Champagnie, who finished with a game-high 31 points and 14 boards, as well as 24 team free throws to hang on over the closing minutes. Au’Diese Toney added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Panthers (8-2, 4-1 ACC), who came away with their third straight conference win.
Sophomore Wendell Moore Jr. chipped in 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting for Duke (5-4, 3-2 ACC), which dropped its second consecutive game. Fellow sophomore Matthew Hurt netted 13 points to go with six rebounds and freshman Jeremy Roach went for 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Duke concludes its three-game road swing on Saturday at Louisville. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Pittsburgh travels to Boston College on Saturday for a 6 p.m. ET matchup with the Eagles.
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