No. 2 Orange slip past Pitt — Top 2013-14 Syracuse basketball moments

Ennis hit the game winner for the Orange

Each Thursday over the summer, The Juice Online will be counting down the top 10 moments in the 2013-14 basketball season. We continue our countdown with No. 2, Syracuse’s 58-56 win against Pitt on Feb. 12.

WHAT HAPPENED: With 4.4 seconds left and Syracuse down one, Tyler Ennis raced up court with a couple of options in mind.

He could find the cutting Trevor Cooney along the baseline or pull up from 30 feet away for the game winner.

Ennis hit the game winner for the Orange

Ennis chose correctly, hitting one of the most memorable buzzer beaters in Syracuse history, as Syracuse defeated PItt 58-56.

Moments before, Pitt forward Talib Zanna (16 points and 14 rebounds) calmly sank a pair of go-ahead free throws after he had been fouled on a layup attempt.

After he hit the second free throw, Pitt coach Jaime Dixon made the questionable decision to call timeout and set up his defense. In doing so, it also let Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to draw up a play.

Boeheim put the game squarely in the hands of his freshman point guard, and it paid off.

» Related: No. 3: Syracuse blows out Villanova at the Dome

But several things had to go right for Ennis’ shot to even happen.

The Orange trailed by six with under two minutes left and appeared headed toward its first loss of the season. But CJ Fair (who led the Orange with 14 points) hit a 3-pointer, and then on the ensuing possession, pulled SU to within 54-53 with 51 seconds left.

Ennis would give the Orange a one point lead with 10 seconds left, setting up the dramatic finish.

WHY IT’S NO. 2: When Syracuse fans think of some of the best buzzer beaters in history, Ennis’ shot will be among the best. The shot kept Syracuse as one of the two undefeated teams in Division I basketball at that time, and also helped propel Ennis to the NBA after just one college season. As for the game itself, it was another classic Big East game played in the confines of the ACC. As has always been the case when these two teams play each other, it was a low-scoring, grind-it-out, defensive slugfest.

Check in next week as we reveal No. 1 on our countdown.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]