Syracuse vs Pitt Basketball

Cold shooting dooms Orange in 66-52 loss to Pittsburgh

Freshman forward Tyler Lydon paced Syracuse with a career-high 21 points.

Freshman forward Tyler Lydon had one of his best games of the season for Syracuse (18-10, 8-7 ACC) against the Pittsburgh Panthers (19-7, 8-6) on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, nobody else on the Orange stepped up as they dropped their second consecutive game by the count of 66-52.


Lydon’s 21 points led the Orange and tied Pittsburgh junior Jamel Artis for the game-high total, but nobody else scored more than 10 points for Syracuse.

Syracuse's Tyler Lydon slams it down for two.


“The last game Trevor Cooney shot it well and today Tyler Lydon shot it well,” said Orange head coach Jim Boeheim. “We have to have at least two or three guys to make shots. When you don’t make shots, sooner or later, it’s just going to wear you down.”


Lydon was able to make plays inside and out; a big dunk early on energized the crowd, as did a three-pointer right before halftime that cut Pitt’s lead to 30-28.


But the lack of secondary scoring as well as domination by the Panthers on the glass proved too much for the Orange to overcome.


“They’re a big, physical team and they play really hard,” Lydon said. “A lot of the shots were long rebounds, and they were tough. It’s just a matter of us trying to get after it more, and we weren’t able to do that.”


Pittsburgh's Artis (11 rebounds) and junior Michael Young (13) had their way on the glass all game long. The Panthers finished the game with a 43-23 advantage in rebounds, including 14-6 on offensive boards.


“It’s not that we started rebounding and then we stopped rebounding,” Boeheim said when speaking about Syracuse’s recent struggles in the rebound department. “These are better rebounding teams.”


The game remained tight well into the second half. For a more than five-minute stretch, neither team was able to score, until Lydon hit a three at 8:30 to break the drought and energize the crowd.


However, the Panthers would use a 7-0 run to go up 52-45 with 3:50 left in the game, and the Orange were never able to recover. Artis converted an and-one opportunity with 2:05 left to put Pitt up 57-48, and the Panthers never looked back.


Graduate guard Michael Gbinije (10 points), freshman guard Malachi Richardson (6) and redshirt senior guard Trevor Cooney (3), usually key contributors for the Orange, struggled mightily as they combined to shoot just 6 of 29 from the field and 3 of 18 from three-point range.


Pittsburgh senior point guard James Robinson finished with 13 points and five assists for the Panthers, while Syracuse senior forward DaJuan Coleman contributed eight points and eight rebounds.


The Orange will wrap up their home schedule next week when they host the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2:00 p.m. Syracuse’s graduating seniors will be honored at their last game in the Carrier Dome.

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