For the first time in nearly two years Saturday, the Syracuse Orange suffered back-to-back losses dropping a Big East Conference showdown at the Pittsburgh Panthers, 65-55.
As Pitt (18-5, 6-4 Big East Conference) has a history of doing, especially at the Petersen Events Center, the Panthers frustrated the No. 6-ranked Orange (18-3, 6-2 Big East) all game long. SU finished the contest shooting 37-percent, including making 3-for-14 from behind the 3-point line, and was out-rebounded by a disturbing margin of 37-21.
On top of all that, Pitt's double-digit victory was accomplished by having just one player, guard Tray Woodall, score in double figures (13 points). The Panthers also went 3-for-15 from long range and committed 17 turnovers.
C.J. Fair was the only consistent offensive threat for the Orange as he paced all scorers with 20 points. Brandon Triche added 14 points, but he was a dreadful 4-for-14 from the floor and missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Michael Carter-Williams was nearly non-existent as a floor general scoring 13 points on 12 attempts, dishing out just two assists and committing three turnovers.
To make you feel even worse, freshman forward Jerami Grant was 1-for-8 from the floor, while centers Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita combined for three points (all from Keita) and six rebounds.
Overall, this was just a Big East battle which featured Syracuse getting its butt whipped. The Panthers did what they set out to do, so credit them for that. However, after this loss the focus will be mainly on how terrible the Orange offense is and how much work needs to be done to fix it.
And to be honest, I don't even know if the possible return of James Southerland is the answer.