Over the years, Cameron Indoor Stadium has played host to some outstanding individual performances. On Wednesday night, one Duke University freshman made a worthy effort to join the conversation.
Facing an 11-point deficit at halftime against a solid Pittsburgh team, the No. 24 Duke answered the call and completed a thrilling second-half comeback behind Kyle Filipowski’s sparkling night. The 7-foot freshman recorded his seventh double-double with 15 rebounds and a career-high 28 points for him, while the Blues flipped the script in the second half and didn’t look back, eventually home him. On the floor he played an outsize role as he was a 77-69 winner. .
In the second half, Filipowski picked up where he left off after the first period, opening the scoring for Duke (13-4 in the ACC, 4-2 in the ACC), slapping an opposing defender with both hands. Pittsburgh (1–6, 4–2) remained undaunted, keeping the Blue Devils at arm’s length as the half progressed, but Filipowski persisted. With less than 13 minutes remaining, his lunge finish in transition cut the Panthers’ lead to 52-47 and gave him a new career-high with 21 points after completing damage at the hoop and free-throw line. .
It marked the beginning of an impressive second half effort for the Blue Devils. After letting them go, freshman center Derek Lively II went to Grass to make it a tie game. With just over his 10 minutes left in regulation, Duke suddenly rejoined the contest he had been trying to escape from them just minutes earlier.
From there it was all Blue Devils. Freshman forward Mark Mitchell gave the team led by head coach John Scheer the lead for the first time since starting time, and Filipowski capped off Duke’s go-ahead burst shortly afterwards with another two-handed slam. -52 and solid control.
Whatever momentum the Panthers might have had before then was quickly shattered after the eventual 15-0 loss to Duke.
The first half of Wednesday belonged to the visitors as the Panthers threatened to run away multiple times in the first 20 minutes. Midway through the first period, Pittsburgh pieced together a 13-2 run after explosive grad student Jamalius Burton (nine points in the first half) and redshirt senior Nike Sibande made strong plays in the backcourt. , extended the lead to 26-14.
Despite the early deficit, the Blue Devils responded with a 9-2 run of their own, closing the gap to one score at 34-32 on Lively’s bucket with less than four minutes remaining. But that was the end of Duke’s early comeback bid.The Panthers tightened their defensive end from that point on, keeping the Blue Devils scoreless until halftime and scoring the next nine points to take a 43–32 lead. I brought it to the locker room.
The turnover was the story of the first half for both sides. Duke committed 12 turnovers to his 8 in Pittsburgh, but the Panthers came clean after a sloppy half play overall.
Pittsburgh dominated most of the first half, but Filipowski came out of the gate strong for the Blue Devils, scoring a game-high 12 points in the first 20 minutes. Having made a habit of strong second-half play in his first season at Durham, his early plays, including his first 3-pointer since Duke’s victory over Iowa at Madison Square Garden on December 6, were not as good as they were. circumvented the problem. He slipped further off the Blue Devils before the break.
The freshman duo of Proctor and Darik Whitehead made up the home team’s starting backcourt as junior captain and starting point guard Jeremy Roach missed two straight games with a worsening toe injury. Proctor made an immediate impact, showing his emotion early on with a wing 3-pointer that put the Blues in a 5-2 lead over the Blues. However, his hot start was short-lived as the Australian rookie was sent off after he committed two personal fouls on him in the first five minutes.
Filipowski was the star of Wednesday’s show, but it took a number of strong performances for Duke to clinch the win. The Blue Devils had a season-high 24 offensive rebounds. Overall he had 28 rebounds for the Panthers.
The schedule isn’t easy for the Blue Devils, who head to Clemson on Saturday at 5pm. The Tigers got off to a 5-0 start in his ACC.
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| | sports editor
Jonathan Levitan is a Junior at Trinity and Sports Editor for Volume 118 of The Chronicle.