Pitt came out and left little doubt who would win this game, starting off the game on a 19-0 run. Well, until Syracuse answered with a 17-0 run of their own. Then we were right back where we started.
But Pitt never let up and never trailed in this game.
The Panthers showed exactly why they will be a dangerous draw in the NCAA tournament – they’re deep and talented. Tonight, the trio of Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, and Ashton Gibbs took a backseat to Nasir Robinson, who was all over the court tonight with 21 points and seven rebounds.
If it’s not Gibbs it’s Wanamaker. If it’s not Wanamaker, it’s Brown. If it’s not Brown, it’s McGhee…the cycle goes on and on and it’s a different guy every night.
Pitt took it to the Cuse tonight in every conceivable way. They shot nearly 50% to Syracuse’s 39%, outrebounded Syracuse by 14 boards, and even shot 70% from the line to the Orange’s 53%. Kris Joseph’s injury aside, Pitt showed that it was the better team.
One thing that Syracuse showed was plenty of heart. It could have been easy for a lot of teams to lie down after falling behind 19-0 to one of the nation’s best teams. But they not only fought back to make it competitive, they ran off 17 in a row. To do that against Pitt is quite a feat.
It would have been interesting to see what the Orange could have done with Kris Joseph in the lineup. But his replacements, James Southerland and C.J. Fair both stepped in with pretty good games.
Both teams showed plenty of fight and the Orange were certainly impressive, even in defeat.