Pittsburgh (6-0) vs. Duquesne (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: CONSOL Energy Center (19,000) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Pitt 4-0, Duquesne 2-1. Away Record: Pitt 0-0, Duquesne 0-1. Neutral Record: Pitt 2-0, Duquesne 0-0. Conference Record: Pitt 0-0, Duquesne 0-0. Series Record: Pittsburgh leads, 50-31.
GAME NOTES: The Pittsburgh Panthers will put their perfect record on the line as they collide with their crosstown rivals, the Duquesne Dukes in the 82nd City Game at the CONSOL Energy Center.
The Panthers improved to 6-0 in Brooklyn earlier in the week with back-to-back routs of Texas Tech (76-53) and Stanford (88-67) in the Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. Coach Jamie Dixon's team has won all six of its games this season by double-digit margins. Pitt is connecting on 48.4 percent of its field goal attempts to net 81.3 points per game. Its opposition is averaging only 56.5 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Duquesne improved to 2-2 on Nov. 20 with a 70-59 decision over Albany. The Dukes lost, 96-83, to West Virginia in their only game outside of the A.J. Palumbo Center this season. Coach Jim Ferry will only have nine scholarship players in uniform for the City Game, as leading 3-point shooter Michael Mason, Isaiah Watkins and Jordan Robinson are all unavailable. Duquesne does not usually settle for outside shots, as only 33.3 percent of its attempts have come from beyond the arc.
The Panthers have been dominant versus the Dukes over the years. Pittsburgh holds a 50-31 all-time series lead after winning the last 12 matchups by an average of 15.8 points per game.
Lamar Patterson was named the MVP of the Legends Classic after he registered 23.5 points, five assists and 3.5 steals per outing in the Panthers' two wins. Cameron Wright was also named to the all-tournament team after contributing 12.5 points, three assists and 3.5 steals per tilt. Senior forward Talib Zanna is having a solid campaign overall with averages of 12.6 points and a team- high seven rebounds per game. Pittsburgh converted 30-of-34 attempts at the charity stripe its last time out while also forcing the Cardinal into 14 turnovers.
The Dukes have a solid leader at forward in Okie Soko, who carries a double- double average of 18.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Soko averaged 8.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 2011-12 at UAB, but he clearly improved last season while sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules. Tra'Vaughn White has also been solid in his first season with the team. White, who was the nation's top scorer at the junior college level in 2012-13, has scored 15.8 ppg and reached double- figures in all four of his Division I outings. Duquesne has a very short bench and the injury to Mason will put even more weight on the shoulders of the starting five.
Pittsburgh should have no problem taking down the wounded Dukes. Although rivalry games are very difficult to dominate, the Panthers hold the clear upperhand and have been firing on all cylinders. Dixon's squad will ascend into the Top-25 shortly if it keeps up its impressive level of play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh 90, Duquesne 66
11/30 10:33:43 ET