Pitt's Steven Adams celebrates with teammates as Tray Woodall makes a late-game free throw against Syracuse late in the second half at the Petersen Events Center this afternoon.
Matt Freed /Post-Gazette
Pitt's Dante Taylor and Tray Woodall reach to steal the ball from Syracuse's Michael Gbinije in the second half at the Petersen Events Center this afternoon.
By Ray Fittipaldo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tray Woodall scored 13 points to lead Pitt past Syracuse, 66-55, this afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's mastery over Syracuse continued. It was the Panthers' ninth victory in the past 11 meetings against the Orange.
Pitt (18-5, 6-4) has won five of its past six games.
C.J. Fair had 17 for Syracuse, (18-3, 6-2), which has lost two in a row.
Pitt led 27-25 at halftime. The Panthers took a 33-27 lead after Trey Zeigler made a runner in the lane. That prompted Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to call a timeout, which settled his team.
The Orange scored eight of the next 10 points to tie the score at 35. The Panthers, however, gathered themselves and made some big shots down the stretch.
Cam Wright made a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock for a 38-35 lead. The Panthers would never trail again.
A few minutes later, reserve forward Durand Johnson made a 3-pointer for a 48-39 lead, the biggest lead for either team at that point.
After Syracuse cut it to five on four free throws from Brandon Triche, Pitt freshman center Steve Adams was fouled. Adams, a 32 percent foul shooter, could not take the free throws because he was hit in the eye.
Boeheim picked Wright, a 48 percent foul shooter, to take them instead. Wright made both for a 52-45 lead with 4:06 remaining.
The Panthers shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and scored 10 points off eight first-half turnovers by Syracuse to get the two-point halftime lead.
Syracuse shot 37 percent in the first half, but the Orangemen grabbed five offensive rebounds and converted those into seven second-chance points.