Syracuse, N.Y. – The Syracuse Orange returned home after its biggest win of the season against Duke on Monday and managed the business against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Syracuse took an early lead only to allow Pitt to start running to finish the first, but Orange created the split in the second half and won with a final score of 74-63.
Tyus Battle was the first to score with 22 points, after he had a difficult start and Buddy Boeheim added four triples from the bench and a free throw for a career-high 13 points.
Paschal Chukwu looked like the Duke game in the first few minutes. He was caught by a feed from Oshae Brissett's tall post on the low and placed it gently for a 7-3 advantage. He tilted an offensive rebound, grabbed another while fouling a minute later and forced a jump ball that blocked the edge of the defensive end. Hanging two fingers up after one of his offensive boards to call a play, it looked like Duke's Chukwu when Syracuse built an early lead.
But it disappeared quickly five minutes after a triple by Xavier Johnson. He missed Frank Howard at the end of a shot clock, before Tyus Battle threw a shot three seconds into the new 20 seconds. Syracuse turned him around a few seconds after forcing one of his own. An early deficit caused Bourama Sidibe and Marek Dolezaj, of Zion Williamson to become famous, in the game. Brissett and Howard connected three in a row to the top by Jared Wilson-Frame, and the Orange led 15-11 after Pittsburgh pitched another rotation in the backyard.
Confusion and madness flowed as Dolezaj and Trey McGowens collided, McGowens struggled to defend himself and Buddy Boeheim called for the open ball on the three-point line. He sprayed it to give Orange an 18-11 lead. Howard's air ball possessions later, Battle rushed to the defense complaining about a call, while Dolezaj had returned the ball to the SU and the Pittsburgh bank screamed several times through the first errors of his team.
Throughout almost 15 minutes, Syracuse maintained an advantage without a point from its leader in scoring, Battle. That changed after Battle hit a three on his sixth shot attempt, then jumped from the middle range the next time down to finish with an 8-0 Syracuse in a double-digit lead.
Orange led up to 12 in the first half, but entered at halftime, leading only by three. Brissett picked up a pair of aggressive blocks under the edge of Au'Diese Toney, but the second bounced off Chukwu, who hit Wilson-Frames to the rhythm of three. A Brissett missed and the rotation became points for Johnson in the transition, and Pittsburgh closed a gap of 13-3 points of turnovers at 13-10 in the middle to shoot within 28-25.
A strange game came to the second half with almost three minutes of basketball without goals between the two sides. The butcher shop, with a lost dunk and three lengths on both ends, ended with a tray of Ellison to pull the Panther inside one. Elijah Hughes stripped McGowens, then hit a three to Brissett's pace at the other end to give the orange some space.
Howard added another with Dolezaj in the game with Chukwu, holding Battle at the start of possession and lurking in the corner before receiving a pbad from Dolezaj to give him an open look. Battle got two shots around a screen, then received a look from Dolezaj when he cut the baseline to further boost the lead. A few plays later, he hit Chukwu rolling to the edge in a perfect pick-and-roll. Hughes drove to the edge in search of a jingling dunk, then Battle contributed three more over the goal to increase Syracuse's lead to a maximum of 15 games.
Ultimately, Orange maintained Pitt's pressure towards the end and won with a final score of 74-63. In addition to the solid results of Battle and Boehiem, Chukwu had 6 points and 11 rebounds, while Frank Howard had 10 points and 5 badists.
Syracuse shot 46.2 percent from three while Pittsburgh shot just 34.4 percent from the floor in general. Pitt turned it around 17 times in the contest.
Video summary of our Dylan Finer:
Syracuse returns home next week to face Miami. The game will be announced at 8 pm on Thursday and will be broadcast at the ACCN.