PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The 18th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team traveled north to Pittsburgh for a Sunday afternoon matchup and came away with a 58-46 victory at the Petersen Events Center. With the win, the Blue Devils moved to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play, while registering Duke’s 900th overall victory as a program.
Fifth-year senior Lexie Brown took control of the contest in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 points as she was 8-of-20 from the floor and 3-of-5 from behind the arc, while also ripping down four rebounds to go along with four assists and one steal.
Pittsburgh native senior Erin Mathias tallied her third career double-double in her homecoming as she went 4-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the foul line to notch 12 points. Mathias grabbed a career-high tying 10 rebounds including seven offensive boards to go along with two assists, one block and one steal.
Mathias notched the first points for the Blue Devils within 20 seconds after tipoff before picking up two assists on deep treys from Brown and Greenwell to put Duke up 10-2. Pitt’s Kyla Nelson connected on the first three for the Panthers as they shot 1-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first frame while fifth-year senior Bego Faz Davalos locked in on the defensive front with back-to-back blocks on Pitt jumpers. Faz Davalos ended the contest with four blocks, bringing her career total to 363, which moves her into 25th on the NCAA career list. At the end of the first 10 minutes of action, the Blue Devils led 16-7.
Redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki powered her way through some tough Panther defense for a look at a layup but came up just short as Mathias picked up the offensive board to lay it in for a quick two. At the end of the first half, Mathias led the team with three offensive rebounds while junior Faith Suggs came off the bench for Duke and knocked down her fifth trey of the season at the under six-minute mark. Duke was held scoreless for nearly three minutes and committed four turnovers during that span before Brown found range with her second three of the day from Gorecki at 3:09 for a 10-point lead.
Heading into halftime, Duke held a solid 30-15 lead as Brown (eight), Gorecki (six) and Greenwell (six) spearheaded the offense.
Mathias completed the three-point play to start the second half and notched a block at the other end of the floor, good for her 25th of the season before Faz Davalos added two additional blocks to her contest total. Pitt’s Kauai Bradley connected on the team’s second overall trey at the three-and-a-half-minute mark and added another to pull the Panthers within seven, before two points in the paint for Mathias. Heading into the final 10 minutes of action, Duke continued to lead 41-34 despite being outscored 19-11 by the Panthers in the third.
The Panthers went ahead, 44-43, with just under seven minutes remaining, but Duke closed the contest on a 15-2 run to seal the victory. Brown, a native of Suwanee, Ga., had 10 of Duke’s 17 points in the final frame as the Blue Devils shot 66.7 percent (2-of-3) from beyond the arc and took care of business at the foul line as they were a perfect 3-of-3.
The Blue Devils outrebounded Pitt, 39-36, as they shot 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three-point land with contributions from Brown, Greenwell and Suggs.
Pitt’s Yacine Diop led the Panthers with a double-double (19 points, 15 rebounds).
The Blue Devils will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium with the first of three consecutive home contests against Georgia Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.