You win some. You lose some. And sometimes, you don’t even come close.
The Pittsburgh Panthers (8-9, 0-4 ACC) fell hard to the Duke Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2 ACC) by an 87-52 final score.
The Panthers were dominated by likely one-and-done Marvin Bagley Jr, as he posted 16 points, 15 rebounds, and an assist. Jared Wilson-Frame had 17 points, two rebounds, and two assists despite shooting one-of-nine beyond the arc.
The disparity between the two programs was evidently on display as Duke had a 10-0 lead before people really even got to their seats. Things didn’t get better as Pitt trailed by 26 at halftime even after showing some spirited fight towards the end of the first half. They ended up getting it back down to 17 but couldn’t get any closer and eventually lost by 35 in the end.
It was a very tough game. Wilson-Frame was able to pot 17 points despite a lackluster game overall from the team and had some reassuring words afterward.
“We all like each other,” Wilson-Frame said. “Let me replace that word: We all love each other…We haven’t hung our heads after any game this season.”
Head coach Kevin Stallings seemed pretty blunt with his postgame assessment.
“We just didn’t have enough answers tonight,” Stallings said. “The first half, they were just awesome.”
Stallings was not going to take anything away from the Blue Devils despite his team’s lack of talent compared to the Blue Devils.
They’re the upper echelon of what college basketball looks like…the gold standard,” Stallings said.
- Kene Chukwuka was the Panthers best player tonight. The stat line only has eight points, four rebounds, and one assist by his name but Chukwuka brought an energy to the Panthers they otherwise wouldn’t have had. He was a crucial part of an early second half possession where the Panthers had four offensive rebounds and he collected the fourth one and put it back for two points. They were a meaningless two points in the scope of the game. But as far as effort, that couldn’t be denied.
- Something is off in Jared Wilson-Frame’s game. Wilson-Frame had been the Panthers most consistent shooter through the early part of non-conference play. Late in that part of the schedule and into the ACC portion, Wilson-Frame can’t hit the three. He still dropped 17 but the potential for more was there. He was one-of-nine from three-point land. He was draining three’s in non-conference play so the better caliber of ACC defense has obviously affected him but it’s still puzzling. He gets enough open looks that more should go down.
- The Panthers will miss Ryan Luther until he returns (if he does) and it’s increasingly noticeable. It’s sad. Luther being out has completely decimated this team. He is the glue that kept this team together early on and his non-presence in ACC play has been very noticeable. He is the stabilizer on this young team. Stalling said after the game they’re currently entertaining the idea of a medical redshirt for Luther, as his progress isn’t improving much.