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Artis scores 21 as Pitt pulls away from Syracuse for 66-52 road win

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Jamel Artis had 21 points and 11 rebounds, James Robinson added 13 points, and Pitt used another dominant performance on the glass to beat Syracuse 66-52 on Saturday.

The win moves Pitt past Syracuse in the ACCC standings with 8 wins and improves their overall record to 19–7. Syracuse drops to 18-10 overall and 8-7 against conference opponents.

The key to Pitt’s win were timely 3-point shooting and dominant rebounding. Pitt out-rebounded Syracuse 45–19, including 16 offensive rebounds.

The Orange have scored 37 percent of their points this season via the 3-point shot, but Saturday Syracuse was just 7 of 26.

The home team came out of the gate strong, taking a 9-2 lead after connecting on their first three field goal attempts while the Panthers missed seven of their first eight shots. 

However, over the next four minutes, Robinson quickly brought Pitt back by knocking down two threes from the top of the key. Robinson scored eight points during the stretch to cut the deficit to three.

At the 7:39 mark, Pitt’s Cameron Johnson banked in a three from the wing to give the Panthers their first lead of the game at 21-20. Following a Syracuse turnover, Michael Young’s high arching jumper from the free throw line increased Pitt’s run to 10-0.

The Panthers continued their run as Robinson fed Sheldon Jeter inside for a layup, and then on the next possession Johnson made a corner 3-pointer to give Pitt an eight-point lead. Syracuse struggled to score, only making one basket over this eight-minute span dominated by Pitt.

In the waning seconds of the first half, Orange forward Tyler Lydon—who scored 13 first-half points—swished a deep three from the left wing to make the score 30-28 in favor the Pitt.

The Panthers strength in the first half came in the rebound department by collecting 10 offensive rebounds resulting in seven second chance points. Syracuse finished the half still shooting strong; the Orange went 48 percent from the field including 42 percent from 3-point range, but both numbers would drop in the second half.

Five minutes into the second half, the Orange cut the deficit to one once Lydon drove to the basket and produced a three-point play. Pitt’s Artis answered by burying a three from the top of the key to maintain Pitt’s lead. The three was the Panthers’ sixth of the game.

The lead remained stagnant at 42-40 over the next three and a half minutes before Lydon ended the brief scoring drought. With 8:35 remaining, he knocked down a three to give the Orange the lead for the first time since the 7:40 mark in the first half.

The back and forth game continued as Jeter’s layup and one put the Panthers ahead once again. For Syracuse, Franklin Howard went into the lane to draw defenders and then passed the ball to DaJuan Coleman for the slam tying the game at 45.

On the next Pitt possession, Artis stepped up and drilled another three to start a key 7-0 run. A catch and shoot jumper from Ryan Luther from 18 feet away forced Syracuse to call a timeout with 3:50 left in the game.

With just over two minutes to go, Artis sliced to the basket for a three-point play to put the Panthers up nine and seal the victory.

The Panthers played strong defense on Michael Gbinije, limiting Syracuse’s leading scoring to 10 points on 4-10 shooting.

Pitt next returns home to play Louisville on Feb. 24.

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