Instant Juice: Syracuse 55, Pittsburgh 65

A quick take on Syracuse’s 65-55 loss to Pittsburgh in the Petersen Center:

WHAT HAPPENED: An early 8-2 run that stretched from late in the first half until 3 minutes into the second gave Pitt a 6 point lead, which was more than enough in a low scoring game.

» What did you think of SU’s performance?

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SU has lost two straight

ANALYSIS: It was another classic Big East matchup that was ugly offensively to watch, but was a brilliant defensive game. But things that hurt Syracuse all season came back to haunt them today. SU was badly outrebounded (37-21) and generally hurt on the interior. The Orange frontline was nonexistent offensively and SU missed 3-pointers and front ends of 1-and-1s down the stretch. For the game, SU shot just 36 percent from the field and was 3-14 from downtown. All three losses have been to Pennsylvania teams this season.

» Related: Is St. John’s/Syracuse the Big East’s legacy?

HERO: CJ Fair was SU’s best offensive option and led the way with 20 points on 9-12 shooting.

ZERO: Syracuse’s big men once again didn’t show up. Rakeem Christmas went scoreless, and Keita wasn’t much better with 3 points. The big men don’t need to put up huge scoring numbers but they do need to at least be somewhat of an offensive threat. Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche were both in double figures but shot a combined 7-26.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange returns to the Carrier Dome to host Notre Dame on Monday, Feb. 4 in the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m. TV: ESPN.

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