December 20, 2007

(11) Pittsburgh 65, (6) Duke 64, OT

NEW YORK -- Levance Fields hit a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left in overtime to give No. 11 Pittsburgh a 65-64 victory over No. 6 Duke in a matchup of unbeatens Thursday night.

Duke's Jon Scheyer took a running 3 and was able to grab the rebound and get off a final shot but it was another miss for the Blue Devils (10-1).

Fields, who finished with 21 points for the Panthers (11-0), hit all three of Pittsburgh's 3-pointers in the game. The second one he made was part of a 12-0 run that gave the Panthers a 50-49 lead with 5:27 to play in regulation, their first since 2-0.

Duke had the final two shots of regulation, too.

Gerald Henderson of Duke tied the game at 58 on a jumper with 56 seconds left in regulation.

Pitt's Michael Cook missed a 3 with 23 seconds left and the Blue Devils worked for a last shot, Henderson's driving miss in the lane, but Kyle Singler got the rebound and his putback went off the rim.

Sam Young had 17 points for Pittsburgh, while freshman DeJuan Blair had 15 points and 20 rebounds and his energy on the boards was a big key for the Panthers in their comeback from a 13-point deficit four minutes into the second half.

Singler and Henderson both had 17 points for Duke, while DeMarcus Nelson added 14.

Mike Cook, a senior who has made 48 consecutive starts at forward for Pitt, hurt his left leg a minute into the overtime. He remained on the court for several minutes then was helped to the locker room without the leg ever touching the ground. He didn't return.

The loss snapped Duke's 36-game winning streak in December. The Blue Devils' last loss in the 12th month was 84-83 to Stanford on Dec. 21, 2000.

Both teams were used to playing in Madison Square Garden. Pitt is 18-8 there since 2001-02 and Duke is 15-6 in the Garden under coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils had won their last seven in the building.

It looked like Duke's winning streaks in the month and New York City would remain intact as the Blue Devils took a 16-point lead in the first half and were still up 39-26 with 16:31 left in regulation.

But Pittsburgh picked up its rebounding and defense in the second half and overtime and cut back on the turnovers. After being even on the boards at 19 at halftime, the Panthers finished with a 53-39 rebound advantage and the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Blair was the big difference.

Duke went 4:48 without scoring in the second, part of a 6:31 span when the Blue Devils didn't have a field goal. Their spread offense wasn't getting the same shots it did in the first half and the Blue Devils were missing 3s, going 1-for-9 from behind the arc in the final 25 minutes.

Pitt took advantage to get back in the game and Blair had five points in the 12-0 run that got the Panthers the lead for the first time since the opening minutes.

The Panthers finished with 22 turnovers after having 13 in the first half.

Duke took the big lead in the first half with defense and a 10-0 run.

Pittsburgh went 11 consecutive possessions without scoring, the first two ended with missed shots, the next with two missed free throws. The next seven all ended with turnovers by the Panthers, mistakes ranging from bad passes in the open court to very bad passes in a double-team to two offensive fouls, both drawn by Lance Thomas.

A jumper in the lane by Fields ended the run and made it 24-15 with 4:59 left in the half.

But the Blue Devils went on another run, this one 7-0 and Taylor King's 3-pointer capped it and Duke was up 31-5 with 3:53 left.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon called a 30-second timeout, the third one he called in a 3:24 span hoping to keep Duke within striking distance. The Panthers closed within 34-22 at halftime.