Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Dawkins led both an impressive Duke perimeter shooting display and a pivotal second-half run that enabled the 17th-ranked Blue Devils to record an 80-65 victory over No. 18 Pittsburgh in a key ACC clash.
Dawkins knocked down 6-of-7 attempts from 3-point range and netted 14 of his 20 points after halftime for Duke (17-4, 6-2 ACC), which broke open a close game with a 12-0 surge that began with under 10 minutes to play.
"We played hard, they played hard, and I think Andre was the difference," said Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "When you go 6-for-7 from three, it's pretty darn good. It's really just darn good."
The Blue Devils shot 13-of-25 from beyond the arc as a team en route to their fifth straight win, with Jabari Parker and Amile Jefferson each recording double-doubles in the triumph. Parker posted 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Jefferson finished with 14 points and 10 boards.
Lamar Patterson paced Pittsburgh (18-3, 6-2) with 14 points and Talib Zanna had 11 along with 11 rebounds in the loss, which put an end to the Panthers' 14-game home win streak.
Duke was clinging to a 52-51 lead when Dawkins put back his own miss and buried a trey after teammate Quinn Cook's corner 3-pointer to extend the margin to nine with 7:50 remaining. The outside shooting specialist hit two more triples during the game-changing sequence, with the last of those makes staking the Blue Devils to a 67-54 advantage with 5:44 to go.
"We got some looks for him, and then all of the sudden -- boom! We had a double-digit lead," said Krzyzewski of Dawkins.
The Panthers never recovered from the knockout blow, failing to trim the deficit under double digits the rest of the way.
"We didn't execute on defense the whole second half," said Pitt guard James Robinson. "Once we stopped trading buckets, we didn't get any stops."
Duke got off to a sluggish beginning, missing seven of its first nine shot attempts while falling behind by a 12-5 score seven minutes in, but was able to overcome the early deficit behind an impressive opening half from Parker.
The freshman sensation netted the initial seven points of a 10-2 run that put the Blue Devils up 19-17, and finished with 16 over the course of the period as Duke took a 34-32 edge into halftime.
It remained tight over the first 10 minutes of the second half, with the Panthers trailing by no more than four points until Duke put together its difference-making run.