Syracuse Basketball: Orange Upset in Second Straight Game, Lose at Pitt 65-55

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIFebruary 2, 2013

February 2, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) handles the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers defense during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 65-55. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The struggles continued on Saturday for the sixth-ranked Syracuse Orange. For the second straight week, Syracuse was upset on the road, losing at Pittsburgh 65-55. Last Saturday, the Orange were defeated in overtime at Villanova 75-71.

Syracuse entered the game with a disadvantage, playing with just seven scholarship players due to the suspension of James Southerland and the injury to DaJuan Coleman.

Against Pittsburgh, poor shooting was once again a large factor in the game. Syracuse shot just 36.6 percent from the field, including just 3-of-14 from three-point land. The Orange, who entered the game averaging 77.1 points per game, were able to manage only 55 on Saturday.

Forward C.J. Fair led the Orange with 20 points. Brandon Triche, the team's leading scorer for the year, averaging 14.9 points a game, had 14 in the game. The senior guard also committed six turnovers.

Star point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists, had 13 points with just two assists and three turnovers.

Pittsburgh took a two-point lead into halftime and never let up in the second half. The Panthers played a great team game, with only one player double-digit points, but with six other guys who scored five or more. All 10 players in the Pitt rotation scored at least four points.

Freshman Steven Adams, a seven-footer from New Zealand, had a great performance for Pittsburgh, scoring  eight points and collecting seven rebounds. Tray Woodall led them with 13 points and also added five rebounds.

Syracuse, one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, was beat on the glass by an unbelievable 37-21 margin. Entering the game, the Panthers ranked 146th in the nation in rebounding.

The Panthers were led on the glass by junior forward Talib Zanna, who grabbed 12 boards.

With the victory, Pittsburgh improved to 18-5 (6-4).

The loss for the Orange knocks them out of a tie for first place in the Big East for the moment. Marquette, who is currently 6-1 in conference play, takes on Louisville on Sunday.

Syracuse is now 18-3 (6-2) for the year and could drop out of the Top 10 on Monday.