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Three Panthers reach 20-point mark in victory over Syracuse

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt proved that it is a force to be reckoned with in its matchup with the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, and with the electric return of Justin Champagnie from a knee injury, the Panthers were primed to show what they have to offer in the ACC.

The Panthers started off slow but soon got into a grove and by halftime were only down 37-32. In the second half, the Panthers showed their skills and took took a resounding lead. As the game came to a close, the Panthers left the Orange in the rear-view mirror and finished the game with 96-76 score.

During the game, three players reached the 20-point mark in scoring on the day — a rare feat.

Leading the way was Champagnie, who wasted no time in returning to form, putting up 24 points along with 16 rebounds to boot.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Johnson and Ithiel Horton finished the game with 23 and 20 points, respectively. Johnson did not shoot particularly well but connected on all 13 of his free throws.

Further, the team nearly had a fourth 20-point contributor in Au’Diese Toney. Toney had 18 points, falling just shy of the mark as the Panthers had one of their best offensive performances in recent memory.

The Panthers are currently ranked fourth in the ACC. The next game for the Panthers will be against the Duke Blue Devils on January 19 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.