A quick take on Syracuse’s disappointing 80-75 loss against Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon, at Petersen Events Center on the Pitt campus:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse’s five game ACC winning streak came to a screeching halt as Pitt led throughout, and the Panthers split the season series. After opening up a seven point halftime lead, Pitt answered the several Orange (16-10, 8-5) second half runs by beating the SU press down court and scoring easy baskets, and by out-rebounding Syracuse 41-25.
ANALYSIS: .Pitt (14-11, 3-9), as Wisconsin did back in November at Madison, utilized a great high-low passing game to find seams in the SU zone to score inside, led by big men Michael Young and Sheldon Jeter who combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds, or outside, as Cameron Johnson hit six three-pointers finishing with 22 points. The Orange duo of Andrew White III and John Gillon did what it could in the second half to get SU close late, each scoring 20 points.
HERO:Playing on a tender ankle, Pitt senior guard Jamel Artis was steady throughout in running the Panther’s victorious attack, finishing with 16 points, 10 assists, three rebounds and two blocks.
ZERO: The Orange had chances to come back, but seemingly fumbled a rebound out of bounds, or missed an easy basket at just the wrong times, while committing 10 turnovers, including a final one with under 1:00 to play down four points as Tyler Lydon (only eight points) couldn’t handle a Gillon pass. The rebound margin was equally startling, leading to second chance Panther baskets in both halves.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse has a quick turnaround with a Monday night game in the Dome against No. 4 Louisville in 48 hours, on Feb. 13. Likewise, the Cardinals (20-5, 8-4) have the same schedule as they rallied to defeat Miami 71-66 at home Sat. afternoon. The ‘Cuse has won four of the last seven games against UL dating back to 2012. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET / TV: ESPN.