Pittsburgh dominated the second half as Syracuse was embarrassed on the road 64-53 in what is easily the worst loss of a poor season. The Orange dropped to 9-11 (3-6) on the season. Pittsburgh improved to 8-12 (3-6). Next up for Syracuse is a home matchup against Wake Forest on Saturday.
The first half was ugly on both ends for both teams. Neither team shot the ball well and both teams had unforced turnovers. Syracuse jumped out to an early lead that was as high as 10 at one point, but Pittsburgh battled back with dominance on the offensive glass leading to extra possessions and second chance opportunities. The Panthers outrebounded the Orange by nine in the first half, including by six on the offensive end.
Syracuse was without Symir Torrence in this game as he is out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury. Joe Girard struggled in this one, but the Orange had nowhere else to go at the point guard spot without Torrence. Girard was held scoreless until the final 40 seconds and turned it over six times.
About seven minutes into the second half, Pittsburgh took its first lead of the game after a layup by Femi Okudale. Jamarius Burton found his shot from the outside and drilled a three with 11:33 left to give the Panthers a four point edge. After going just 1-14 from beyond the arc in the first half, Pitt hit five of its first seven to start the second. That was all part of a 10-0 run from Pittsburgh that turned a three point deficit into a seven point lead.
Even when Pittsburgh went in a scoring draught, Syracuse could not capitalize as the Orange missed all but one of its three point attempts in the second half and shot under 30% overall after intermission. Buddy Boeheim was the only Syracuse in double figures.
Syracuse held a four point lead at the half, but allowed Pitt, a poor shooting team, to shoot 50% overall and from three point range in the second half. The Panthers outscored the Orange 40-25 after halftime.