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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 72-49 win at Pittsburgh

Syracuse completed the sweep against Pittsburgh for the second consecutive season

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team handled the Pittsburgh Panthers by a final score of 72-49 on Wednesday night. The road win moves Syracuse to 16-12 on the season and 9-8 in the conference.

Elijah Hughes led all scorers in the contest with 25 points to go along with 9 rebounds while Bourama Sidibe had a season-high 13 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the year. Joe Girard worked his way up to 16 points on 4-7 shooting from deep.

While Pittsburgh isn’t a great offensive team, Syracuse limited the Panthers to 16-55 (29.1%) shooting from the floor and 6-26 (23.1%) shooting from distance. The Orange forced 17 Panther turnovers. Pittsburgh’s 49 points were the fewest allowed by the Orange since its 97-46 win over Bucknell back on Nov. 23.

Before we delve into the takeaways, it should be noted that walk-on Brendan Paul became a legend by taking a three-pointer at the buzzer with a 20 point lead and burying it. Kudos to BP.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Bourama Sidibe game vs. Pitt: Part II

In his freshman season, Sidibe came out against Pittsburgh and scored 18 points while hauling in 16 rebounds. It was by far and away his best performance in his first season at Syracuse.

On Wednesday night, the junior big man started strong with an offensive rebound and put-back bucket on the first play of the game. He continued that effort throughout the first half to the tune of 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. He even drew a pair of charges against Pittsburgh.

Although he picked up two quick fouls in the second half and was forced to sit, Sidibe finished his night with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocks. He’s put together a nice pair of games against Georgia Tech and now Pitt.

Sidibe also has a proclivity for good games at Pittsburgh.

No Buddy’s Business

Buddy Boeheim went down in the first half with an ankle injury. He would not return to the game and was sidelined with a bag of ice wrapped around his left ankle in the second half.

Brycen Goodine supplanted Boeheim in the second half and performed well in his place. The unmasked Goodine had a sequence in which he blocked a Gerald Drumgoole 3-point attempt and knocked down his own 3-ball on the other end. On the ensuing possession, Goodine hit a pull up two for five total points.

Still, a healthy Boeheim will be important for SU. Boeheim has been struggling this month to be sure, but Syracuse will need its best shooter down the stretch.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Just win, baby

Syracuse has completed the sweep against Pittsburgh for the second consecutive season (barring a future ACC Tournament meeting with a different result). The Orange went 3-0 against the Panthers a season ago. Jim Boeheim is 5-0 against Jeff Capel as head coach of Pitt. A 2009 Sweet 16 loss to Capel’s Oklahoma Sooners would otherwise have Boeheim undefeated against Capel all-time.

The win also moves Syracuse to 9-8 in the ACC and in sole possession of fifth place in the league. On Monday night, NC State lost to North Carolina and Clemson lost to Georgia Tech. A Notre Dame win against Boston College would move the Irish into a tie with SU.

Also, Pittsburgh came into the night ranked No. 99 in NET, which means Syracuse’s win goes down as quadrant two. Syracuse is still off the bubble conversation to be sure, but here’s how the Orange’s record breaks down by quadrant:

Q1: 2-7

Q2: 3-4

Q3: 5-1

Q4: 6-0

For Syracuse basketball stories and updates, follow Nunes and James on twitter @NunesMagician and @JamesSzuba