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Old 02-02-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Upset Pitt tops Cuse to extend reign over top 10s

AP

PITTSBURGH -- Jim Boeheim spent two hours watching Pittsburgh's unusual 10-man rotation swarm No. 6 Syracuse into a flurry of missed shots, missed rebounds and missed opportunities in a 65-55 victory on Saturday and thinks he may have finally figured out who's on top of the wide-open Big East.

"They're the best team we've played, without any question," Boeheim said. "It's not even close."

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon isn't quite ready to go that far. Yet there's little doubt the Panthers and Orange are heading in opposite directions.

"In everybody's eyes there's this huge difference (between Pitt and Syracuse) but we felt we'd lost some close games, they won some close games," Dixon said. "You can't panic."

Something Pitt never seems to do when facing a highly ranked opponent at home. Tray Woodall had 13 points, four assists and three steals as the Panthers improved to 13-1 against Top 10 teams since the Petersen Events Center opened a decade ago.

"We felt like it was a must win," Woodall said.

Trey Zeigler added six points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench for the Pitt (18-5, 6-4 Big East), which gave its tidy record some needed polish by dominating the undermanned Orange on the glass.

The Panthers outrebounded Syracuse 39-24, held the Orange to 37 percent shooting (18 of 49) and never trailed in the second half. Injuries and personnel issues forced Syracuse to play with just seven scholarship players, though Boeheim doesn't think the short bench was as much of an issue as Pitt's ability to guard.

"They're a tremendous defensive team, knew we were going to have trouble scoring against them," he said. "When the game was in doubt, we had some opportunities and didn't finish."

C.J. Fair led Syracuse (18-3, 6-2) with 20 points and Brandon Triche scored 14 but couldn't stop Syracuse from its first losing streak in nearly two years. Michael Carter-Williams added 13 points for Syracuse but the nation's leader in assists finished with just two -- nearly seven below his average. The Orange had just five assists on 18 baskets.
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