Orange Fizz


Syracuse Drops Third Straight in 99-82 Loss to Pittsburgh

After a positive first half, at least compared to the last two games, SU collapsed in the second half in a 99-82 loss to Pittsburgh. That’s now five Orange losses in the last six against the Panthers.

The first half is an ode to some positives. Jim Boeheim started Justin Taylor and Benny Williams over Chris Bell (did not play) and Maliq Brown (only played six minutes), which proved to sort of pay dividends. Williams erupted for 11 points in the first ten minutes, along with nine for Joe Girard. But contributions elsewhere were irking. Judah Mintz grabbed two fouls before he even scored and that came over ten minutes into the game. Jesse Edwards took only five shots in the first half for a measly five points, with two fouls thwarting his aggressiveness.

Defensively, the first half was a change of pace. The Cuse held Blake Hinson, Pitt’s leading scorer, to one-of-seven from the field in the first part of the opening period, and kept him in check for the rest of the half. The junior shot an abysmal 3-of-14 from the field for nine points to lead the Panthers into the locker room. After making 13 threes in the Dome in December, Pittsburgh managed just five in the first half on 21 attempts. That 24% clip nearly nullified the 17 threes allowed by Syracuse over the last two games. The Orange even had more defensive rebounds entering the break, with the scoreline in favor of Pitt 37-33.

Then, the onslaught ensued.

It was all spearheaded by poor SU defense and great Pitt offense. Hinson doubled his threes total, got to the line five times and nailed half of his shots in the second half. The forward’s teammates followed suit. Pittsburgh made 11-of-20 three-pointers in the second half and leveled up from no double figure scorers in the first half, to six with ten or more points total. Guard Greg Elliott shined with 17 second half points on five-of-six shooting from distance. Center Federiko Federiko finished perfect from the field with 14 points and snared six rebounds. Colgate transfer Nelly Cummings dished out nine assists in the second half to close his day with 14 points and 13 assists.

Pitt trounced the Cuse with 62 second half points on 64% shooting from the field and 55% from distance. In fact, the Panthers shot 10-of-13 from inside the arc with only two turnovers in the second period.

Enjoy these hideous defensive stats:

  • 43 threes allowed in the last three games
  • SU has surrendered 10+ threes in 15 games this season
  • The Orange have given up 13 or more threes on nine ocassions this year
  • Over the last two contests: Back to back games allowing 90+ points. Back to back games allowing 14+ threes. Back to back games allowing five or more players to score in double figures
  • SU has surrendered 80 or more points six times this season (The Orange are 0-6 in those scenarios), plus 90+ in two games this year (0-2)

On the offensive end, the Orange found their rhythm, even though its impact was quickly negated by awful defense. Williams finished with a career-high 24 points and the first time he has scored 20+ points in his career too. It also matched his point total over the last eight games, which also equaled 24. Mintz tallied his ninth consecutive game with 15 or more points, as the freshman finished with 16. Girard racked up 19 points on six-of-12 from the field. Finally, Edwards rebounded from a dud over the last two contests with 17 points and seven boards, but he did fall victim to foul trouble with four personals on his ledger.

Scoring 82 points is a win if you’re Syracuse, but once again, the defense, or lack thereof, downed Syracuse’s chances of winning its final regular season road game. It’s now back to the drawing board to face a Georgia Tech squad that hit ten threes in the prior matchup, but also turned the ball over 16 times. SU and GT play on Tuesday, as SU seeks to stay above .500 in the conference.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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