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Pittsburgh 65, Syracuse 55

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt's master over Syracuse continued on Saturday when the unranked Panthers knocked off No. 6 Syracuse, 65-55, in a Big East Conference game at the Petersen Events Center.

It was Pitt's ninth victory in the last 11 games against the Orange.

Senior guard Tray Woodall had 13 points to lead Pitt (18-5, 6-4 in the Big East), which has won five of its last six games.

C.J. Fair scored 20 for Syracuse (18-3, 6-2), which has lost two in a row.

Syracuse, playing its first game in a week after suffering its first Big East loss of the season at Villanova, had a hard time generating offense against Pitt, which allows the fewest points per game in the conference.

Playing its fifth consecutive game without second-leading scorer James Southerland and its first without injured starter DaJuan Coleman, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim utilized a seven-man rotation against the Panthers, using only Trevor Cooney and Baye Moussa Keita off the bench.

Pitt led, 27-25, at halftime and the Panthers built a 33-27 lead when Trey Zeigler made a runner from the lane. That prompted Boeheim to call a timeout, which settled his team.

The Orange scored eight of the next 10 points to tie the score, 35-35. The Panthers, however, gathered themselves and made some big shots down the stretch.

Cam Wright made a 3-pointer as the shot clock ran down for a 38-35 lead and the Panthers would never trail again.

A few minutes later, reserve forward Durand Johnson made a 3-pointer for a 48-39 lead, the biggest lead for either team at that point.

After Syracuse cut the lead to five on four free throws from Brandon Triche, Pitt freshman center Steve Adams was fouled. Adams, a 32 percent foul shooter, could not take the free throws because he was hit in the eye.

Wright, a 48 percent foul shooter, took them instead and made both for a 52-45 lead with 4:06 remaining.

The Panthers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and scored 10 points off eight first-half turnovers by Syracuse to get the two-point halftime lead.

Syracuse made only 37 percent of its shots in the first half, but grabbed five offensive rebounds and converted those into seven second-chance points. Fair led the Orange with nine points in the first 20 minutes.

NOTES: Pitt has a 13-1 record against teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll at the Petersen Events Center. ... Syracuse freshman forward Jerami Grant made his first career start. ... Syracuse's only victory at the Petersen Events Center came in February of 2004.
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