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No. 1 Syracuse Orange (19-0) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (11-7) GameThread

Needing just win to establish a new record for the best start in school history, the top-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to turn the trick when they entertain the Pittsburgh Panthers tonight at the Carrier Dome in a Big East Conference showdown.

What was once a season filled with promise has turned to utter chaos for the Pittsburgh Panthers, as they are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, five of which have come in Big East play. The team's most recent setback came at No. 25 Marquette on Saturday, 62-59, and this is the second straight game in which coach Jamie Dixon's club will have faced a ranked foe. Looking ahead, Pitt doesn't appear to get a reprieve until perhaps a February 5 clash with Villanova, or three days later at USF.

This bout marks the 100th meeting between Syracuse and Pittsburgh, with the Orange laying claim to a 61-38 series advantage. However, the Panthers have won the last five, eight of the last nine, and 13 of the last 16 meetings overall.

Pittsburgh has seen its scoring average drop considerably over the last few weeks, as averaging 59.2 ppg during its current six-game slide will tend to do that. The team features just two active double-digit scorers in Ashton Gibbs (16.9 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Nasir Robinson (12.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg), but if Tray Woodall (12.4 ppg) can get back in the lineup after missing the last several weeks with an abdominal/groin injury, then things could begin to stabilize a bit. Gibbs was a one-man wrecking crew in Saturday's clash with Marquette, scoring a career-high 29 points, which was more than half of the team's total in what turned out to be a 62-59 loss. With 10 points, Robinson was the only other player to reach double figures for the Panthers, who missed 14 of their 20 three-point attempts in the game. Pitt had a five-point lead at halftime, but 17 turnovers proved costly.

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