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Syracuse - Pittsburgh Postgame Reactions OR Two In A Row

Jim Burr: I don't know. Jim Boeheim: No shit!
Syracuse gave it a good effort, but Pittsburgh proved just too much for Syracuse. Or should I say, Syracuse didn't play up to the level they were capable of, and thus was vanquished by Pittsburgh for their second league road loss in a row. Syracuse was admittedly shorthanded, but in reality the depth of the bench wasn't the issue. It was the failing of the players on the floor to execute. That let Pittsburgh take a ten point lead at the final horn to win the game over Syracuse 65 to 55.
  • CJ Fair again led all scorers in this game with 20 points on 9-13 shooting, and 2-4 from long range. He also had three rebounds, three steals, and a block. He was again the best player overall on the floor for Syracuse and the most dependable offensive threat for the Orange.
  • Brandon Triche added 14 points on the day shooting 4-14 from the floor, and 0-5 from three. He was also 6-7 from the free throw line, his biggest asset. Triche was actually good in the last ten minutes of the game trying to get Syracuse back in the game, but it was really too little to late then. He lead the team with six turnovers.
  • MCW had 13 points on the floor on 3-12 shooting and 1-5 from the floor. He was also 6-7 from the free throw line. He only had three turnovers but it seemed like way more. He eventually fouled out. He had demonstrated over the last few games that he is more interested in trying to force shots and offense than distributing the ball and being a great passer and point guard. While it hasn't really cost Syracuse too much, it doesn't help when playing from behind.
  • Rakeem Christmas didn't attempt a shot in this game in 21 minutes on the floor. He had three rebounds and three blocks. At least he didn't hurt the effort.
  • Jeremi Grant started his first game of the season and it didn't go well. He was 1-8 from the floor, seeming to miss everything within three feet of the bucket. He had five points and five rebounds. He really forced several bad shots in this game and definitely didn't look confident like he has at earlier points in the year.
  • Baye Moussa Keita played 19 minutes and was 1-2 on offense. He head three points, three rebounds, and two steals.
  • The only other player to get into the game was Trevor Cooney. He also didn't attempt a shot but did play well on defense. He had one rebound and two assists. However, he foolishly ran into a defender for a foul instead of passing to Triche on a two on one fast break. He has to learn that making the pass is the better play there.
  • Syracuse shot 36.7% from the floor. Pittsburgh shot 48%. A stark difference there. The main reason Syracuse lost the game. Both teams only hit three long range shots, so the long ball was no effect on this game.
  • On the bright side, Syracuse hit 16-20 from the free throw line. MCW hit 6-7. Amazing how he hits the ones that don't directly affect winning a game.
  • Syracuse forced 19 turnovers from Pittsburgh, a team generally not prone to turnovers. Additionally, they only had 14.
  • Much hooplah was made from the media (read: Mike Patrick and Len Elmore) on the fact that Syracuse only played seven players. In general, that's all Boeheim has played this year. It was just Southerland instead of Grant or Christmas essentially. Only playing seven didn't affect the outcome of the game.
Syracuse now returns home with only a day of rest to take on Notre Dame, a team more up and down than the stock market and coming off an overtime win versus DePaul on Saturday. Should be an interesting one in a very interesting final year of Big East play.

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