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Reserves power Syracuse past Pitt down the stretch

reserves-power-syracuse-past-pitt-down-the-stretch

Quadir Copeland recorded 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench to guide Syracuse to an 81-73 home victory over Pitt in Atlantic Coast Conference action on Saturday afternoon.

The Orange (10-3, 1-1 ACC) overcame a double-digit deficit early in the second half to earn their fifth straight victory. Benny Williams and Maliq Brown each contributed 15 points in a reserve role, while Judah Mintz chipped in 12 points.

The Panthers (9-4, 0-2) entered with a four-game winning streak as well, but they couldn’t close out the win despite strong performances from Carlton Carrington (17 points, seven rebounds) and Guillermo Diaz Graham (14 points).

Diaz Graham opened the second half with a 3-pointer, putting Pitt ahead 41-30 before Syracuse scored 22 of the next 26 points.

Brown scored five straight points early in that burst, while Mintz drained a 3-pointer shortly thereafter. Mintz’s two free throws with 14:07 remaining put the Orange in front 44-43.

Copeland scored six points in just over two minutes to help Syracuse take a 52-45 lead.

The Panthers kept fighting, as they got within 56-55 with 7:11 left and then finally caught up at 61-61 with five minutes to play.

However, Syracuse embarked on a 13-2 run to essentially clinch the outcome. Brown began the burst with a dunk before Copeland converted a spinning layup in transition. Williams had the next four points for the Orange and then Copeland made 3 of 4 foul shots to put the hosts ahead 74-63.

Pitt got as close as 78-72 in the final minute, but Jaland Lowe missed a 3-pointer that would have sliced the deficit in half, and Copeland iced it from the line.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half until the Panthers began to gain some separation late in the session. The visitors went on a 9-0 run, including five straight points by Carrington, to take a 38-28 lead before Williams dunked in the waning seconds to make it an eight-point game at the break.

–Field Level Media

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