Pitt faced Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, looking to build on the momentum attained in its 69-67 win over Boston College over the weekend. However, the Panthers arrived in central New York ill-prepared to take on the Orange, and they would be met with disappointment, falling by a score of 77-61.
The Panthers got off to an inauspicious start, turning the ball over twice in the first 40 seconds and quickly conceding points. However, they proved equal to the task of keeping pace with a struggling Orange team early in the game, and about seven minutes in, the contest was tied, with the score 10-10. However, as Buddy Boeheim and Symir Torrence began to heat up, the Orange were able to build up a 19-11 advantage.
Pitt would claw its way back into the game, though, with Jamarius Burton and Femi Odukale leading the charge, and with just under six minutes left in the opening half, the Panthers would regain the lead on an Odukale three-pointer that made it 27-25. Odukale would follow that up with a layup and another three to extend Pitt’s lead to 32-25. But Joe Girard would put a dent in that lead, and by the end of the half, Syracuse was in front again, thanks to a last-second layup by Jimmy Boeheim that put the Orange up 35-34.
The second half would not be nearly as close, as the Orange went on an early 16-3 run and pulled away from the Panthers. That run provided the hosts with a commanding 51-37 lead, and with just over 11 minutes left to play, that lead had ballooned to 58-41. Pitt would try to chip away at its 17-point deficit, but with momentum on the side of Syracuse, the Orange would continue to pile up points. And four minutes later, the Panthers found themselves in a 20-point hole.
Syracuse would continue to keep Pitt at arm’s length as the last few minutes ticked away, and by the final buzzer, the Orange had taken down the Panthers 77-61. Their effort was led by the Boeheim brothers, who combined for 42 of the team’s 77 points and went 6-for-10 from three-point range on Tuesday night. As for Pitt, it got 14 points apiece from Jamarius Burton, Mouhamadou Gueye and Femi Odukale but saw star player John Hugley stifled by Syracuse, scoring just eight points in the contest after amassing a career-high 32 points in the win over Boston College.
With the loss, Pitt fell to 6-10 on the season and 1-4 in conference play. As for Syracuse, it improved to 8-8 overall and 2-3 in the ACC. Pitt now faces a tough road ahead, with matchups against Louisville, Virginia, Clemson and Syracuse all scheduled in the coming days and weeks. The Panthers will face the Cardinals next, and that matchup is set to get underway from Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. on Saturday.