College basketball: Syracuse sends Pitt to 9th straight loss

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Tyus Battle scored 14 points and Bourama Sidibe provided a spark off the bench as Syracuse fended off struggling Pittsburgh 60-55 Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball game at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh.

In a close, defensive affair, Battle hit a 3-pointer from the corner that gave Syracuse a 50-43 lead with four minutes to play. Sidibe followed with a basket inside, and Syracuse held on to win its third straight game and keep Pittsburgh winless in ACC play.

Sidibe finished with a career-high 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Orange (15-6, 4-4 ACC), who won at Pittsburgh for only the second time in their last 10 trips.

Marcus Carr had 16 points and 12 assists and Jared Wilson-Frame finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers (8-14, 0-9), who have lost nine in a row.

In a battle of the two worst shooting teams in the ACC, the first half was a low-scoring grind that featured multiple droughts. The teams went four minutes without a field goal during one stretch. Pittsburgh didn’t have a basket for nearly nine minutes but was tied 17-17 with four minutes left in the half.

Neither team shot 30 percent from the field in the first half. One errant Syracuse 3-pointer ended up wedged between the rim and the backboard. It wasn’t pretty, but it was competitive.

Syracuse led 22-20 at halftime. Wilson-Frame had 13 of Pittsburgh’s points in the first half.

The offense picked up in the second half, and the game stayed tight. Parker Stewart and Carr hit 3-pointers to answer a quick start by Syracuse.

The Orange blocked 11 Pittsburgh shots, including three by Sidibe, who didn’t even see the floor three games ago, but came up big against the Panthers.

Pittsburgh shot 27.7 percent from the floor. The Panthers have not won since a Dec. 22 victory over Towson.

The Orange travel to Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

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