Syracuse crumbles late for 2nd time against Pittsburgh in 66-52 loss

first_img Related Stories Trio scores nine points for Syracuse in 66-52 loss to PittsburghGallery: Syracuse loses to Pittsburgh by 14 pointsStorify: SU community reacts to home loss against PittsburghJim Boeheim postgame press conference: ‘If I had anybody else, (Tyler Roberson) wouldn’t play a minute. Not a minute.’Grade Syracuse’s performance against Pittsburgh and vote for the player of the game Michael Gbinije limped toward Syracuse’s bench with just over a minute left. He sat in between assistant coaches Mike Hopkins and Adrian Autry, his left hand propping up his chin as he watched a game already decided with no expression on his face.Just seven minutes prior, the Carrier Dome erupted when Tyler Lydon hit a 3 to give Syracuse its first lead in almost 20 minutes. Now, it was silent. Each and-one, each wide-open dunk, each time Pittsburgh broke the press it further drained the life out of a team that had lost it all in the final minutes.In a mirror image of the finish in the two teams’ conference opener, the Panthers (19-7, 8-6 Atlantic Coast) pulled away late for a 66-52 win over Syracuse (18-10, 8-7) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon. The Orange shot its sixth-worst percentage from the field on the season and fourth worst from behind the arc, giving itself no lifeline against a Pittsburgh team that had an answer for every SU spurt.“We have to make shots if we’re going to be successful,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We’re not doing that right now.”SU’s early lead quickly dissipated to a Panthers team that dominated on the offensive glass. The Orange shot almost 10 percent better than its opponent in the first half, but Pitt took 10 more shots and grabbed 10 offensive rebounds to the Orange’s three.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSecond- and third-chance opportunities gave Pittsburgh an eight-point cushion in the first half. Two Lydon 3s salvaged any momentum SU still hung on to heading into the break, but a listless Syracuse offense couldn’t carry it over to the second 20 minutes.After a Dajuan Coleman swat from behind and a Lydon two-handed flush on the other end, the Orange only trailed by two and twice had a chance to take the lead. But Trevor Cooney missed a corner 3. Then Richardson clanked a straight-on long ball off the front of the rim.“We can say we missed shots all we want,” Gbinije said, “but part of being good is making shots.”Each missed shot further kept Pittsburgh alive until the Panthers pulled away. Syracuse’s only lead in the second half lasted a mere 57 seconds before a Sheldon Jeter layup with 7:45 left put the visitors ahead for good.On Dec. 30 at the Petersen Events Center, Syracuse led with 9:20 to go but lost by 11. This time it was worse, an SU lead with 8:42 left that ended up tying its loss against Louisville as the biggest of the season for Syracuse.With Pittsburgh leading by six and 2:14 remaining, the Panthers struggled to inbound the ball on its own baseline but managed to call a timeout. Boeheim charged toward midcourt, a la his 2014 ejection at Duke, to protest a call that he thought should’ve been a five-second violation.Eight seconds of game time later, after Jamel Artis converted a layup with a foul, Boeheim lightly turned his hands over and walked back to his seat on the bench with a smirk on his face.“At the end of the day you can look at a lot of different things,” Boeheim said.One could be suffering its second-worst rebounding margin of the season. One could be allowing Pitt to shoot almost 50 percent from the field. But there was only one that Syracuse was concerned with.“We gotta make shots,” Cooney said, “simple as that.”Pittsburgh’s lead grew to double digits in the final minute, but it had no effect on a result already determined.A second straight loss to put another hitch in Syracuse’s impressive late-season push and yet another chance at a signature win that slipped away. Comments Published on February 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidmancenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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