Despite the fact that Syracuse was undefeated and ranked in the top five while Pitt was unranked, it was business as usual in the Dome today. Pitt's (12-2) physical play wore down the Orange (13-1) and handed SU their first loss of the season, 82-72.
Ashton Gibbs shot 6-of-9 from three-point range en route to a game-high 24 points, as Pittsburgh removed fifth-ranked Syracuse from the ranks of the unbeaten with an 82-72 victory at the Carrier Dome.
Gibbs added eight rebounds for the Panthers (12-2, 2-0 Big East), who have won five straight and eight of their last nine contests overall. Jermaine Dixon contributed a career-high 21 points and recorded five steals as Pittsburgh notched its fourth consecutive win on Syracuse's home court.
The Panthers have now beaten the Orange 12 of 15 times since 2001 and six of the last seven times they've played in the Dome. No active Syracuse Orange player has ever beaten Pitt.
The referees did themselves no favors calling anything and everything in what is always a physical match-up. 5 fouls were called and both Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson fouled out for SU. "Referees don't miss lay-ups," but when you've got a showdown between two Big East teams, you gotta let'm play.
Still, the Orange have to blame themselves for this one. Shoddy three-point shooting (1-13) and porous defense in the 2nd half were their downfall. Pitt's Ashton Gibbs and Jermaine Dixon combined for 45 points.
Wes Johnson led the Orange with 19 points and 6 rebounds while Scoop added 15.
More to come on this one. It was a disappointment, especially at home in front of the big crowd. But there's a lot of season to go...let's see if the Orange can put this stinker behind him. I would imagine, they learned a great deal about themselves today.