Orange defeats Pitt in Big East Tourney
NEW YORK – #19/20 Syracuse to a 62-59 victory against #17/19 Pittsburgh, in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon.Senior James Southerland recorded his 10th straight game in double-figures with 20 points after shooting 7-of-10 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the three-point line in the first half. SU and Pitt battled for the lead in the first few minutes of the matchup before junior C.J. Fair lifted SU ahead by four to set the score at 10-6. Fair and senior James Southerland combined for all 10 points, tallying a three ball and a bucket for five points apiece. With the score tied at 14-14 with 9:36 remaining in the opening frame, the Orange went on a 15-1 run to take its largest lead of the half, surging ahead of the Panthers by 13 points at 27-15. Southerland and Triche scored all 15 points during the streak, highlighted by nine points from Triche and two deep three-pointers from Southerland. The Panthers attempted to close in on the SU advantage with four consecutive free throws to narrow the lead to five points at 32-26, but Southerland's fifth three-pointer of the half and a layup from junior Baye Moussa Keita boosted the advantage back up to double-digits at 37-27 with less than a minute remaining. Following a three-pointer from Fair at the buzzer, Syracuse entered the intermission leading 40-27. Pittsburgh threatened the Orange advantage at 8:39 after a three-pointer from Tray Woodall brought the Panthers within five points of the lead for the second time at 47-43 with 8:39 remaining in the game. Sophomore Michael Carter-Williams and Fair answered back with a three ball and a basket to bring SU back up by nine at 52-43. The Panthers struck again with less than five minutes remaining in the game as Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna slashed the advantage to four points at 55-51 following two straight buckets. As time expired, Talib Zanna went to the line at 58-57, looking to complete a three-point play to tie the game, but missed his free throw. Carter-Williams followed with four more free throws to bring SU up by five with 11 seconds remaining. SU advances to meet #1 seed Georgetown in the semis, Friday night at 7.