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Pitt shares the ball in 65-55 upset of No. 6 Syracuse

Feb 2, 2013, 2:22 PM EDT

Adams Grant AP

No big-time scorer? No problem for the Pitt Panthers.

Tray Woodall became the first and only player to reach double figures for Pitt with just :39 left in a convincing 65-55 home upset of No. 6 Syracuse, and that was OK. Pitt played a team game against the star-laden Orange, getting 31 points from a very active bench. In comparison, ‘Cuse got just three from non-starters, of which they had perhaps more than they would have liked.

Woodall, natch, led the Panthers with 13 points, getting over the double-digit hump by calmly stroking free throws in the closing seconds. Steven Adams and J.J. Moore had the highest single-digit efforts for Pitt, with eight apiece. ‘Cuse got double-figure efforts from C.J. Fair (20 points), Brandon Triche (14) and Michael Carter-Williams (13), but wasn’t able to stop the Panthers or quiet the raucous capacity crowd in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt’s evenly distributed scoring seemed to negate the usually stifling effect of Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Syracuse laid back in the zone for much of the game, leaving Woodall free to bring the ball upcourt without hassle and pick the defense apart. When ‘Cuse finally started to press late, Pitt beat it easily with quick, decisive downcourt passes that led to easy baskets.

It was an interesting preview of what will be an ACC game next season. If ‘Cuse thinks they’re having trouble with Pitt’s transition offense, imagine what they’ll face next season, against the likes of Duke, NC State and North Carolina. Pitt, on the other hand, is vying to move back into the polls and become a contender in their final Big East season.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

  1. ynonamesleft - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Pitt is now 13-1 against Top 10 teams at the Peterson Events Center.

  2. joewilliesshnoz - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Go Pitt !

  3. LPad - Feb 3, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    If ‘Cuse thinks they’re having trouble with Pitt’s transition offense, imagine what they’ll face next season, against the likes of Duke, NC State and North Carolina.

    This sentence makes me wonder if the writer even watched the game. That was an end of the game press that was desparately trying to get a turnover with less than two minutes left in a game they were down 10. It was a get a turnover or foul press.

    Also the Syracuse zone generated twenty turnovers and believe it or not Pitt actually has more than one player that averages more than ten points a game but only had one reach double dights. Pitt won because they shut down Cuse’s offense in the halfcourt and transition. Pitt played a great game and they always play Cuse well, but it is in no way a referedum on how Cuse will fair in the ACC. For example, you wonder how they will do against NC State, well last year they went to NC State and won in a blowout. Cuse actually plays better in faster tempo games, which is why every Big East team tries to slow the temple down against them. Cuse, Pitt, and Louisville will perform at the levels they are accustomed to performing at when they arrive in the ACC. These are very good basketball programs that won’t be affected by style of play over the long term.

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