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Pitt tops Duquesne to win 14th consecutive City Game

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James Robinson had 23 points, Josh Newkirk added 16 and Pitt won the City Game for the 14th straight year with a 76-62 victory over Duquesne at Consol Energy Center.

PITTSBURGH, PA - The win came at a crucial time for Jamie Dixon’s side.

The Panthers had lost three out of their previous five games, including a blowout defeat in their last outing to Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten challenge.

“It motivated all of us. Indiana is a really good team but we felt like we could have played better,” Robinson said. “We have to keep on moving forward.”

Pitt was relatively unchallenged in the first half, ending the first 20 minutes of play with a double digit lead. Robinson led the Panthers with 15 first half points, after entering the game averaging just over 11.

“Last year he (Robinson) was a pass-first player,” Duquesne guard Derrick Colter said. “We didn’t know he could shoot 3’s. That changed the script.”

The Panthers attacked Duquesne’s size weakness from the opening tip, as the Dukes had little answer for center Joseph Uchebo’s 6’10’’ frame. Despite not having scored more than two points in a game during his time with Pitt, the junior scored eight points in the first seven minutes to lead Pitt to an early lead.

“He practiced well the last two days... I think we’re going get good minutes out of him,” Jamie Dixon said. “He did a good job around the basket.”

Pitt got an emotional boost near the 12:00 media timeout, as Cameron Wright made his first appearance with the Panthers this season after breaking his foot during the offseason.

Wright was quickly subbed out after going 0-2 from the field in several minutes of action. He’ll likely play a bigger role in Pitt’s remaining nonconference schedule as the Panthers get ready for their tough ACC slate.

“It’s just hard to play after one practice,” Dixon said regarding Wright’s playing time. “I’m excited about this team moving forward.”

Duquesne made a push early in the second half to trim the Panthers’ lead to single digits at the under-16 media timeout. The two sides battled back and forth for much of the half, with Duquesne cutting the lead to as little as six points.

But Robinson made sure the game was never in jeopardy, nailing two 3-pointers late in the game to seal the victory.

Pitt was able to hold Duquesne to under 80 points, which was the first time the Dukes had been held under that benchmark so far this season.

City Game“They’re a really good team on the offensive end,” Robinson said. “We have to build on these things and get better on the defensive end.”

The Panthers should be encouraged by their effort on the glass this game, as they were able to outrebound the Dukes 45-37, including a 14-11 edge on the offensive boards.

The win ensured a successful start to Pitt’s six-game home stand, which will take them to the start of the ACC season. Their next game will be against St. Bonaventure next week at the Petersen Events Center.

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