Buddy Boeheim scores 24 to lead Syracuse past cold-shooting Pitt

Jan 6, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Buddy Boeheim (35) shoots the ball as Pittsburgh Panthers guard Femi Odukale (2) defends during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse trailed by seven points late in the first half Tuesday night, but responded by outscoring Pittsburgh over the next 16:31 of play by a 40-13 margin. That outburst enabled the Orange (8-8, 2-3 ACC) to claim a comfortable 77-64 home win over the Panthers (6-10, 1-4), snapping a streak of three straight conference losses.

Pitt went the first 9:17 of the second half without a field goal, as SU had arguably their best defensive half of the season, holding their guests to shooting just 23.8 percent from the field while also forcing seven turnovers. Syracuse finished the game shooting 51.0 percent overall, including going 11-of-15 inside the three-point line in the second session.

The Orange drew first blood and led for much of the first half, but Pittsburgh took over with a little over eight minutes in the opening half. The Panthers ran off 13 straight points, turning a six-point deficit into a 32-25 lead with just under four minutes left before halftime.

SU rallied, scoring ten of the last 12 points before the break, taking a 35-34 lead on a tip-in by Jimmy Boeheim just before the buzzer. As Pitt struggled to find the hoop in the second half, Syracuse gradually pulled away, posting a 14-1 advantage for a 51-37 lead.

The Orange pushed the lead out to 65-45 with 7:20 to play, then coasted home as the Panthers never got within 14 points.

» Related: Could Syracuse have a losing season for the first time under Jim Boeheim?

Buddy Boeheim hit five three-pointers as he poured in a game-high 24 points, including a dozen in four minutes and change in the first half. Jimmy Boeheim backed him with 18 points while Jesse Edwards had 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds, and three blocks. Cole Swider aided the SU cause with ten points.

Jamarius Burton, Mouhamadou Gueye, and Femi Odukale each had 14 points to pace the Panthers. Gueye snared ten rebounds for a double-double, as John Hugley chipped in with eight points and eight boards.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse.