PITTSBURGH — In Pitt’s final home game of the 2019-20 season, there was some deja vu in the air. When Pitt lost to Syracuse back on Jan. 25, they trailed the Orange 32-21 at halftime. In the second meeting on Wednesday, the Panthers also scored just 21 points at the break while giving up 37 to Jim Boeheim and company.
Syracuse (16-12, 9-8 ACC) only made one 3-pointer in the first 20 minutes but outscored the Panthers 22-8 in the paint. Pitt’s offense was praying for the ball to go through the net, but its defense also looked completely out of sync, as they were charged with 13 fouls in the first half. Syracuse made 12 free throws, while Pitt (15-14, 6-12) made just seven field goals in the half.
The Orange’s leading scorer on the season, Elijah Hughes, scored 11 points in the first 12 minutes of the game and finished with 16 in the first half alone.
In the second half, the same trends that happened in the first half continued for the remainder of the game and Syracuse finished off Pitt, 72-49.
Hughes scored eight quick points out of the gate in the second half and Pitt couldn’t even get off shot attempts over the Orange’s zone. Pitt’s 18 turnovers were the most that they have coughed up since Nov. 25 against Kansas St. when they turned it over 21 times.
Hughes finished with a game-high 25 points and Syracuse big man Bourama Sidibe added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Really the only bright spot from Pitt was the play of Justin Champagnie. He recorded his sixth double-double (13 points and 17 rebounds) of his freshman season.
Up next, Pitt heads on the road to close out regular season play against NC State on Feb. 29 and Georgia Tech on March. 4.