In the first ACC matchup of the season, Syracuse traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at the Petersen Events Center. The game started with James Robinson burying a deep, contested three with a hand in his face that gave a rather ominous feel. We should have known from the start, but Syracuse ultimately fell to Pittsburgh 72-61.
Syracuse got behind by eight points early but was able to fight back thanks to the play of its senior backcourt. Trevor Cooney was able to generate offense in the first half by knocking down two shots from deep and by going 3-4 from the free throw line.
Michael Gbinije took a tough fall before the end of the half after taking the ball hard to the rim.
Gbinije would return in the second half -- in fact, he and Cooney never came out of the game. Syracuse and Pittsburgh went back and forth for much of the second half until DaJuan Coleman fouled out with 6:30 left in the game. From then on it was all downhill for Syracuse. Pittsburgh took advantage of a 10-0 run to pull away late.
Cooney and Tyler Roberson led the Orange in scoring with 15 a piece while Gbinije added 14 points and seven rebounds. Jamel Artis continued his dominate play against Syracuse by almost going for a triple double -- he scored 18 while pulling in nine rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Pittsburgh out-rebounded Syracuse 43-25.
The good news? Syracuse doesn't have to be bothered with the Oakland Zoo until next year. Leave Trevor alone, guys.
The Oakland Zoo breaks out in a "Cooney's balding!" chant. His parents, sitting behind the SU bench, get a good laugh out of it.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) December 31, 2015
Syracuse falls to 10-4 on the season and 0-1 in the ACC. The Orange continues its road trip to take on Miami on Saturday. That game tips at 2:30 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN3.