Instant Juice: Syracuse 71, Pittsburgh 63

A quick take on Syracuse’s 71-63 win against Pittsburgh:

WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange jumped out to a 13-0 lead and lead by as many as 14 points in the second half before a 15-5 Pitt run brought the Panthers to within 53-49 with 8:39 left. But SU immediately responded, as Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters hit 3-pointers on back to back plays, and Syracuse lead by at least eight points the rest of the way. With the win, SU coach Jim Boeheim notched his 876th win, tying Adolph Rupp for fourth place all-time among Division I coaches. Syracuse also improved to 20-0, the best start in school history.

ANALYSIS: The game had the makings of a blow out when the Orange jumped out to a 13-0 lead, but the Panthers hung around, and never trailed by more than 14 points. They did that by dominating the Orange on the boards (38-24) and limiting their turnovers (13). SU also looked uncomfortable in its halfcourt set, and frequently settled for perimeter jumpers. The Orange was just 5-for-18 from downtown. But there is no such thing as a bad win against Pittsburgh, something the Orange hadn’t done since the 2006 Big East tournament. It was also the first time Syracuse notched a win at the Dome against the Panthers since 2003.

HERO: Syracuse once again had balanced scoring, as Kris Joseph (12), Brandon Triche (12), Scoop Jardine (12), Fab Melo (10) and Dion Waiters (13) were all in double figures.

ZERO: Nasir Robinson was 1-for-5 from the field and 2-for-8 from the free throw line for four points. It was symptomatic of the whole team, as the Panthers were 12-for-23 from the charity stripe. Pittsburgh is now 0-6 in conference play for the first time in school history.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will travel to South Bend, IN to play Notre Dame on Sat., Jan 21 at 6:00 p.m. TV: ESPN.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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