(17) Pittsburgh 68

(18-4, 8-3 Big East)

(9) Syracuse 64

(22-4, 9-3 Big East)

7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2005

Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

1 2 T
#17PITT 29 3968
#9SYR 28 3664

Top Performers

Pittsburgh: C. Troutman 20 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast

Syracuse: L. McCroskey 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Troutman's clutch free throws seal Panthers' win

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Gerry McNamara had the game in his hands, and Carl Krauser took it back.

Just 22 seconds after McNamara's 3-point attempt from the right corner went in and out with Syracuse trailing Pittsburgh by a point with just over a minute left, Krauser drained a long 3 from the top of the key to send the Panthers to a 68-64 victory over the ninth-ranked Orange on Monday night.

"It was one of those games you just want everything to go right in crunch time," said Krauser, who hit three 3-pointers in the final 6:33 to lead Pitt (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 17 AP) back from an eight-point deficit. "I was real happy that things did go right because we battled back from hard adversity being here in the Carrier Dome. Honestly, I didn't even know where I was when I shot the ball."

Pittsburgh (18-4, 8-3 Big East) won for the sixth time in seven games and completed a season sweep of the Orange (22-4, 9-3), who were coming off their best game of the season, a 90-75 win at No. 25 Villanova on Saturday.

In their first meeting just over two weeks ago, Syracuse raced to a 22-5 lead midway through the first half and seemed poised for a lopsided road victory. Krauser had other ideas. Held scoreless for 23 minutes, he scored 19 points in the second half and the Panthers won 76-69.

This comeback was even more impressive because it came very late and in the not-so-friendly confines of the Carrier Dome, where Syracuse has been nearly invincible in the past year. Connecticut broke the Orange's 16-game home winning streak a week ago and Pitt made it two straight.

"If I make that shot, we're in pretty good shape," said McNamara, who had 16 points and 10 assists but missed 10 3-point attempts. "We shouldn't be losing these games at home. We're supposed to win them. It shouldn't have come down to the end. We should have put them away. I guess it wasn't meant to be."

Chevon Troutman was 16-for-20 from the free throw line and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Krauser had 15 points and five assists, and Chris Taft had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Pitt, which had a 41-32 rebound advantage.

Louie McCroskey, who lost his starting job two games ago, scored a career-high 18 points for the Orange, but Hakim Warrick was plagued by foul trouble and matched his season-low with 12 points and had only three rebounds, his season-low. Josh Pace, who had 21 points against Villanova, did not score and took only two shots.

Krauser hit his clutch 3-pointer with 47 seconds left to put Pitt ahead 64-60 and Troutman converted four free throws to keep Syracuse at bay.

"Syracuse doesn't finish games like we do when we play tough down the stretch," Troutman said. "People think because we have a couple of tough losses that we aren't any good anymore, but we've been good for a long time."

The Orange seemed poised to avenge the loss at Pitt in late January. After Krauser's three-point play moved the Panthers within 48-47 midway through the second half, Syracuse went on a 9-2 run. A steal and layup by McNamara put the Orange up 57-49 with 7:45 left.

But Krauser hit two 3s and Troutman nailed a curling hook past Syracuse center Craig Forth to tie it at 60 with 4:31 to go.

After Krauser's fourth 3 of the game, Forth's rebound basket had Syracuse within 64-62 with 35 seconds left. Troutman then made two foul shots, but Warrick's two-handed dunk kept the Orange within a basket.

Troutman, a career 61 percent shooter from the line, has excelled this season, hitting 75 percent in conference play. He made his final two Monday with 11 seconds left and McNamara missed a long 3 at the buzzer as the Panthers celebrated.

"It was bittersweet having my best game and not getting the win," said McCroskey, who missed a wide-open 3-point attempt with the score tied at 60 and failed to convert a baseline drive seconds later. "You live and learn."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 68 64
FG Made-Attempted 19-46 (.413) 23-61 (.377)
3P Made-Attempted 9-22 (.409) 5-22 (.227)
FT Made-Attempted 21-28 (.750) 13-18 (.722)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 8

2004-05 Season

Jan 29, 2005 @PITT 76, SYR 69Recap
» Feb 14, 2005 PITT 68, @SYR 64Recap