No. 6 Syracuse falls to Pittsburgh 65-55
By Will Graves, AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH -- For all the combined talent of Syracuse's C.J. Fair, Michael Carter-Williams and Brandon Triche, even coach Jim Boeheim knows they're not quite good enough to play three-on-10.
In case they needed a reminder, Pittsburgh provided one.
The deep and quickly improving Panthers pulled away from the undermanned sixth-ranked Orange 65-55 on Saturday, sending Syracuse to its first losing streak in nearly two years.
The Orange (18-3, 6-2 Big East) had just seven scholarship players in uniform but relied heavily on Fair, Carter-Williams and Triche to carry the load. After about 30 minutes, it became too much to bear as the Panthers (18-5, 6-4) slowly pulled away.
"It's tough because they just keep rotating in guys with energy and just don't let up," Triche said. "With them rotating and playing tough defense, it kind of messed us up today."
Fair led Syracuse (18-3, 6-2) with 20 points and Triche scored 14 but the Orange never led in the second half while losing two straight games for the first time since Feb. 9-12, 2011.
Syracuse played without center DaJuan Coleman, who is out four weeks after having left knee surgery on Tuesday. Forward James Southerland missed his fifth straight game due to an eligibility issue.
Tray Woodall had 13 points, four assists and three steals as Pitt continued its mastery of highly ranked teams at home. The Panthers improved to 13-1 against Top 10 teams since the Petersen Events Center opened a decade ago.
Trey Zeigler added six points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench for Pitt.
The Panthers controlled the final 20 minutes and never really allowed Syracuse to get going.
Things were tied at 35 midway through the second half when Pitt took control for good. Cam Wright hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to put the Panthers in front. McCaskey standout Lamar Patterson (seven points) followed with a pullup jumper and Steven Adams put back a miss that allowed Pitt to push in front 43-37.
Freshman Durand Johnson followed shortly thereafter with a 3-pointer of his own.
The ebullient swingman put his fingers over his eye in celebration and moved in front 48-39. Syracuse never got closer than five the rest of the way.n