Instant Juice: Syracuse 61, Pittsburgh 65

Syracuse could use more players like Rakeem Christmas
Syracuse couldn’t get its offense going against Pitt

A quick take on Syracuse’s 65-61 loss against Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: A Chris Jones 3-pointer with 2:35 put Pitt up 60-51 and seemed to gave the Panthers control of the game. But a late 9-1 run capped by a BJ Johnson corner 3 cut the lead to 61-60 with 54.4 seconds left. On SU’s ensuing possession with a chance to take the lead, Rakeem Christmas was whistled for an illegal screen and Pitt was 4-4 from the free throw line in the final 35 seconds to escape with the win.

» Related: Syracuse stars MCW and Ennis united in Milwaukee

ANALYSIS: Credit has to go to Syracuse for eliminating a nine point deficit with under three minutes to go, but the Orange had too much to overcome. SU struggled shooting for most of the game, with its top outside shooter Trevor Cooney held scoreless. Cooney is now 1-15 in his last two games, and appeared to be nursing a sore back throughout the game that forced him into the locker room in the second half. But while the rally showed Syracuse’s character, it was still a frustrating loss on an afternoon where the Orange was just 4-12 from downtown.

HERO: The “Konstantinos Mitoglou” Award today goes to Chris Jones. The guard entered the game averaging 8.8 points on 35 percent shooting from downtown. But Jones was unconscious from beyond the arc, going 7-9 from the field and 5-6 from downtown, for a team-high 19 points. Rakeem Christmas notched his 10th double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

ZERO: During halftime, Syracuse honored two of its legends, Roosevelt Bouie and Louis Orr by retiring their numbers during an emotional halftime ceremony. Problem was, the commemorative jersey for Bouie was spelled “B-O-W-I-E.” How such a blatant misspelling made its way through the athletic administration is shocking.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travel to South Bend, Ind. to take on Notre Dame on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. TV: ACC Network.

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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]