All of the chatter that Pitt couldn't keep up with Duquesne proved prescient before Friday's game even started.
Duquesne took a lead before the game tipped when Pitt was assessed a substitution infraction technical foul and Micah Mason made the technical foul shot for a 1-0 Duquesne lead. It didn't last much longer.
Pitt held the Dukes to a single other point in the game's first six minutes while the Panthers built a monumental lead en route to a 96-75 victory in the City Game following Tuesday's loss to No. 11 Purdue.
"I’m very proud of our guys and how we responded," head coach Jamie Dixon said. "Obviously we were very disappointed. We had, I would say, almost an angry practice yesterday and that’s what we needed."
Michael Young led the Panthers with 20 points and posted his second-consecutive double-double with 11 rebounds. James Robinson added 18 points for Pitt (5-1) while Sterling Smith posted a double-double of his own with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jamel Artis scored 14 points and Sheldon Jeter chipped in 12 off the bench.
Pitt extended its City Game winning streak over Duquesne to 15 games.
Smith and Robinson formed a lethal duo from 3-point range, combining to hit 7 of 9 attempts between the two players, as Smith scored in double-figures for the first time as a Panther.
"This team’s really deep so different games are going to be different people [scoring]," Smith said. "I think that can definitely be [my] role here and there."
Pitt leapt out to a 25-8 lead in the game's first eight minutes and led by as many as 30 points in the first half.
"We were passing the ball really well," Smith said. "We like to get the ball inside first and work our way out. Obviously Mike Young had a couple mismatches down there."
The Panthers scored 57 points in the first half, tying the team's record for points scored in a half during Dixon's tenure. Pitt shot 68 percent from the field and made 6 of 9 3-pointers in the first half.
On the other side, Pitt stifled Duquesne to a 10 of 30 shooting half which Dixon liked after his team's defensive lapses Tuesday.
"The first half set the tone," Dixon said. "They shot 33 percent counting the 3 at the end of the half. I thought we defended very well on guards that are hard to guard."
The two guards were Duquesne's Derrick Colter and Micah Mason, who entered Friday came scoring nearly 37 points per game combined. They ultimately scored 26 points Friday, but needed 25 shots to do so.
"Ball-screening defense, that was the key," Dixon said. "We talked about it, we wanted to stay at home on their shooters and not let them get going. We certainly did that."
Pitt built a 57-30 halftime advantage that proved too much for Jim Ferry's squad.
"They dominated us in the first half and we couldn't catch up," Ferry said.
Eric James scored 21 points off the bench to lead all scorers. Derrick Colter added 15, Micah Mason scored 11 and TySean Powell contributed 10 points for Duquesne (6-2).
"I think our defense was really bad in the beginning because we were soft," Colter said. "We weren’t contesting their shots, they were making shots in our face and everything."