Syracuse Orange vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Where and when: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, 7 pm EST
An Atlantic Coast Conference battle between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange will take place on Wednesday night at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 7 pm EST. Syracuse seeks to win its 2nd-straight conference game after taking out the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets at home in their last outing while the Panthers look to halt a 4-game losing skid when they while also avoiding their 3rd-straight loss at home. It is worth mentioning that the Panthers have dropped 6-straight to the Orange (including 2-straight at home) with their last meeting ending in an 8-point victory for the Orange at home thanks to a solid defensive effort that held Pittsburgh to just 39% shooting.
Syracuse locks down Panthers in first matchupThe Orange allowed 14 points and 9 rebounds to the Panthers leading scorer Justin Champagnie (5-6 shooting) in their matchup on January 25th, however, the remainder of the starting 5 shot a combined 7 of 30 for the game in addition to going 5 for 21 from long-range. This type of defensive effort was necessary for the Orange after allowing an average of over 80 points to their prior 3 opponents (all losses), including surrendering 90 points on the road to Louisville on February 19th. They now turn their attention to an offense for Pittsburgh that is ranked as one of the worst in the nation in points scored per game (66), field goal percentage (41), along with 3-point field goal percentage (29).
Salt City ➡️ Steel City pic.twitter.com/YFRZOIlNLC— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) February 26, 2020
Similar to their win over Georgia Tech, the Orange offense shot 44% versus the Panthers last month. And despite leading scorer Elijah Hughes going 4-13 on the night (0-4 3FG, 4 TO's) for 10 points and 6 boards, Syracuse's sophomore guard Buddy Boeheim (16 ppg) came through in the clutch to post 21 points on 4-8 shooting night from long-range, thus increasing his average for the year to just under 39% in this area. Important to also note that since their win over the Orange, Hughes has had 20+ point nights in 5 of 7 games despite the team going just 2-5 during this time (3-4 ATS). Pittsburgh’s defense will be a challenge as they are not only ranked in the top 48 teams in the nation in points allowed per game at 64, but are coming off a slim defeat to a 19-win Virginia Cavaliers team where they allowed 44% shooting while forcing 14 turnovers.
Panthers nearly closed out Cavs to win 2-straightPittsburgh’s loss to the Cavaliers was a close contest throughout with the defense for the Panthers being the tip of the spear in keeping this game within reach. What doomed the Panthers in the end, however, was something that has commonly occurred throughout the season, the offense not being able to garner any type of consistency. Pittsburgh ended the night shooting 39% from the floor along with connecting on just 3 of 15 attempts from long range as Champagnie had a rough outing with 9 points on 4-12 shooting (1-4 3FG). Again, the team is ranked 313th in the nation (or worse) in the major offensive categories and if their last matchup with Syracuse was an indication, it seems that the Panthers may indeed struggle yet again on Wednesday.
The Panthers will need another productive offensive night from sophomore guard Au’Diese Toney (9 ppg), who is coming off a 13-point effort versus the Cavaliers along with guard Xavier Johnson (12 ppg), who led the team with 16 points in their most recent defeat to make this game interesting. Important to note that Tony is coming off a set of great games as he has posted double-digits in his last 4 contests while being very efficient from the floor in shooting 47% for the year. Pittsburgh’s offense has failed to score more than 63 points in their last 6 matchups with Syracuse and has averaged just 55 points in their last 2 meetings at home versus their conference foe.
- The Orange are 4-0 ATS in last 4 meetings versus Panthers
- The Orange are 4-1 ATS in last 5 road games
- The Panthers are 0-4 ATS in last 4 meetings versus Orange
- The Panthers are 2-7-1 ATS in last 10 games