|Posted on January 16, 2018 at 11:50 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The 112th contest between the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball programs took place inside the Carrier Dome on a cold, wintery night here in mid-January.
Orange junior point guard Frank Howard got things started early with a deep shot to make it 3-0 in favor of the Orange.
Fellow point guard, true freshman Howard Washington, Jr., came in at the 13:47 mark and found redshirt-freshman forward Matthew Moyer inside for a lay-in. He followed his assist with a defensive rebound immediately after.
With about 11:30 before the break, Syracuse true freshman forward Oshae Brissett's three made it 14-9 Orange.
Three minutes later, neither team had scored.
The three-point make by freshman guard Parker Stewart at the 8:01 mark of the first half ended a combined scoreless drought in the game of exactly three and a half minutes.
Syracuse would conclude their individual offensive drought after almost five full minutes without a single point when Frank Howard connected on a three-point attempt with 6:48 before halftime, off of a missed jump shot by Tyus Battle, that brought the game to a 17-12 lead for the Orange.
Moyer would attack the rim with a strong move down the baseline, and the ball would bounce in, providing a spark to continue separation for Syracuse, getting out to a 19-14 advantage.
But Pittsburgh would indeed take over the lead for their first time in the game with 4:22 left in the first half, at 22-19, courtesy of sophomore forward/center Kene Chukwuka's three-point make.
Brissett then took the ball in the lane, facing his opponent and elevating for the one-handed make, bringing the game to 22-21 Panthers.
A little over a minute later, Orange sophomore shooting guard Tyus Battle stayed with the ball and kept possession, going to the rim for a tough two with 1:42 before the break. This first field goal of the game by Battle gave the lead back to the Orange, at 23-22.
Battle would head into the lane for yet another tough make, cashing in before the halftime buzzer, to give the Orange a 27-22 advantage at the break. After starting the game 0-for-6, Battle finished the first half 2-for-2.
After scoring his first field goal of the game with under two minutes before half, Battle wasted no time to score in the second half, connecting on a jumper just 46 seconds into the second half. He had equaled his offensive total of the first half, four points, less than three minutes into the second half.
Then, like the first half, Syracuse fell into an offensive drought of over three and a half minutes, beginning after Brissett's connection from beyond the arc at the 15:38 mark. The Orange offensive drought would stretch to at least five minutes, reminiscent of the first-half struggles, and would end after five minutes and 38 seconds when Howard went 1-for-2 from the line with 10:04 remaining.
Syracuse's drought without a field goal in the second half would span a total of six minutes and seven seconds from the 15:38 mark to 9:31 remaining, when Howard would aid the offense once again, attacking the rim for two to give the Orange a 39-35 lead.
Battle would follow by connecting from long range after beginning the game 0-for-4 from distance, and Howard would get three himself, but in the old-fashioned way, with the shot and the free throw, providing the Orange their first double-digit lead of the game at 10 points, 45-35.
The feed from Syracuse true freshman forward Marek Dolezaj to junior center Paschal Chukwu down low left Chukwu with a wide open look at the rim, which he gladly took advantage of with a two-handed slam to bring the Orange back ahead 10, 47-37, with 5:13 to play.
Syracuse would hold on from there, going on a 12-6 run to finish the game with a 59-45 victory, securing an end to their losing streak at four games.
The Orange are now 2-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), while the Panthers remain as the only ACC team without a conference win at 0-6.
With the win, the Orange now have a 67-45 record head-to-head against their historic rival the Panthers in 112 games.