A quick take on Syracuse’s not-so-pretty 59-45 win against Pittsburgh at the Dome Tuesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (13-6, 2-4) again avoided the first five game losing streak in the Jim Boeheim 42 season era, knocking off the ACC’s last place Panthers to snap the skid at four straight defeats. Pitt (8-11, 0-6) took a brief three point lead late in the first half before the Orange rallied to lead by five at intermission, and SU had just enough offense to eventually pull away in the second half and hold off any attempt of a Pittsburgh comeback.
ANALYSIS: In a game between the two poorest shooting teams in the ACC, both teams struggled putting the ball in the hoop against the opposing team’s zone defense. ‘Cuse leading scorer Tyus Battle, who didn’t score his first points until late in the first half, helped open up the offense with 11 points after intermission finishing with 15 points, but under his 20 points per game average. Pitt had long stretches without scoring in each half.
HERO: Despite playing most of the game with three personal fouls and finishing with four, Frank Howard had a balanced all-around game with a team-high 18 points, along with seven rebounds, five steals, four assists, and even a blocked shot.
ZERO: Perhaps it was the frustration by the lack of both offense and defense at times by his team, but it was certainly a rare sight most of the second half to watch Boeheim coach from the SU sideline sans his sports jacket, extolling the Orange in dress shirt and tie, not his most splendid look considering his usually consistent satorial image.
WHAT’S NEXT:Syracuse has a mid-winter, eight day layoff before hosting Boston College (13-6, 3-3) on Wednesday, January 24 at the Dome. The Eagles have conference wins over Duke, Wake Forest, and Florida State, beating the Seminoles at home Monday night 81-75. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET / TV: ESPNU.