Syracuse NY:Pitt had a lead late in first half 22-19. They were taking advantage of a poor shooting Syracuse team through the second half. But it would once again be a long scoring drought in the second half that would give the Orange a 10 point lead midway through the second period that would eliminate any opportunity to Pitt to come back. The final score in Syracuse, the Orange beat the Panthers 59-45.
Last night turnovers were the ultimate undoing and when Carr got into foul trouble, they Panthers just did not have guys that could fill that spot effectively. Here is what Coach Stallings had to say.
The story of the night for us, unfortunately, was that we turned the ball over too much to win a road game in this league. I thought we played hard, I thought we competed really hard, and really well. Of course we had some trouble attacking their zone but I think that most everybody seems to. We were able to get Parker (Stewart) loose a little bit and I thought he was outstanding, but we just didn’t take good enough care of the ball to win on the road, and that seems to be a little bit of a problem for us. It doesn’t really matter what the defense is, it could be zone or man, and we turn it over too much. It hurt us not having Marcus (Carr), not that he was all that great while he was in there, but he certainly is able to organize and do things for us that other guys can’t do.”
Pitt received a big game from Parker Stewart as he is slowly becoming one of the best outside shooting guards in recent history. Last night, he was extremely sharp from outside knocking down 7-13 from outside, scoring 23 total points. It was more than half of Pitt’s output for the game.
Shamiel Stevenson was very quiet last nigh. He had opportunities to score but missed some shots and looked to pass first instead of taking some open shots that he had last night.
Marcus Carr put himself in foul trouble early in the first half, and then throughout the game. That took him out of his own game which limited how many points he was able to produce. Jared Wilson-Frame struggled from the field making just 1 basket and 5 total points.
The Panthers were able to hold their own on the boards, leading that category more than half the game. That was of course until the cold snap in the second half. From that point, the Orange took control of both the game and the boards.
Coming into the game, Syracuse was 12-6 and was a team the Panthers had a chance to play well against. They did that for about 30 to 35 minutes. But a 3 or 4 minute span would undo all the good that had been done.
In order for the Panthers to win, they need those long droughts to end. They played really good defense but their youth shows on the offensive side of the ball. And when those shooting slumps happen, they just have not figured out who they can go to in order to end that.
With the loss of Luther, that leaves only Jonathan Milligan as the senior with experience. I tweeted last night, Jonathan Milligan has shown very little and his playing time is starting to reflect that.
Playing time is shrinking game to game and last night when Carr received his second foul early, Milligan came in but only briefly. A turnover and poor play had him removed quickly. He plays like he is trying to do too much and he forces things playing out of control.
The Orange would get a big game from Both Howard and Battle and it was that depth that hurt them. Coach Boeheim talked after the game about How Pitt was smart when they started out attacking the way they did because of how the Orange has struggle offensively. Syracuse was Losers of 4 straight coming into last night.
Pitt will continue their road trip heading to Duke, and for these kids will be a truly eye openinig experience.