Buddy Boeheim scored 21 points as host Syracuse rode a hot start and held on for a 69-61 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
The Orange (13-7, 6-3 ACC) won their fifth straight game, improved to 8-2 in their past 10 games and beat Pittsburgh (13-7, 4-5) for the sixth straight time despite a shaky finish.
Boeheim scored 18 points in the first half when Syracuse raced out to a 30-10 lead with about five minutes left. His six field goals in the opening 20 minutes matched Pittsburgh’s total by halftime when the Orange held a 32-21 lead.
Marek Dolezaj added 17 points and seven rebounds as Syracuse survived being outscored 51-39 over the final 25-plus minutes, missing 16 of 21 3-point attempts and going 16 of 23 from the foul line throughout the game. The Orange shot 43.6 percent and had a quiet day from ACC leading scorer Elijah Hughes, who was held to 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Justin Champagnie led Pittsburgh with 12 of his 14 points after halftime as the Panthers shot 38.9 percent overall. Terrell Brown added 11 points for Pittsburgh, which started off by missing 10 of its first 11 shots and also was just 5 of 21 from 3-point range.
Syracuse held a 53-38 lead with 8:23 left and led 59-49 with 4:32 to go but Pittsburgh stormed back, getting with 59-56 on a foul-line jumper by Brown with 2:45 remaining. After Hughes hit a layup out of a timeout with 2:31 left, Dolezaj rebounded a missed jumper and converted the putback for a 63-58 edge with 1:41 remaining.
Syracuse had a chance to clinch the win after Dolezaj intercepted Ryan Murphy’s pass in the low post but Hughes missed a 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining and Champagnie hit another layup with 33 seconds left to make it 63-60. Hughes finally sealed the win with a dunk off the inbounds pass with 31 seconds remaining as Pittsburgh couldn’t score another field goal the rest of the way.
—Field Level Media