Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis has been impressive all year and he continued to do so tonight with a buzzer-beater three to complete a Syracuse Orange comeback against arch rival Pittsburgh.
C.J. Fair had 14 points to lead the Orange, 24-0 (11-0). Ennis had 13 points and five assists and Trevor Cooney added 11 points on 3-8 three-point shooting. Talib Zanna led Pittsburgh with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The Panthers led for most of the game and took a 27-24 lead into the halftime break. They then started off the second half on a 10-4 run, opening up a nine-point lead on the number one team in the nation. A three by Cooney helped get the Orange started, and an extended 17-7 run capped off by another Cooney three tied the game at 45. Zanna then had a three-point play to quickly give the Panthers back the lead, 48-45. That started a 9-3 Pittsburgh run which gave the home team a 54-48 lead with just two minutes left. Then Fair found his groove late and scored eight straight points for the Orange, first by hitting a corner three to cut the lead in half, and then another baseline jumper to bring the deficit to just one at 54-53 with 50 seconds left.
After a long delay for a clock malfunction, the Orange got a stop, and on the offensive end Ennis was fouled and hit two free throws to give the Orange the lead with 10 seconds left. The Orange then fouled Zanna on a layup and he calmly hit both shots to give Pittsburgh a one-point edge. Then it was Ennis time. After a Pittsburgh timeout the Orange inbounded the ball to their freshman stud with just four seconds left. Ennis took four dribbles to get down the court and hoisted a three between two defenders, and it miraculously went in as time expired.
The Orange looked like they were bound for their first loss on the season, but the late heroics by Ennis and Fair helped them win their first game at Pittsburgh since February of 2004 and set a school record winning streak at 24 straight games. The Panthers dominated the glass, out rebounding the Orange 35-24, including 16 offensive rebounds. The Orange shot just 42.9 percent for the game but held the Panthers to just 36 percent. The Orange also shot better from the free-throw line, hitting 16 of their 19 attempts as opposed to the 14 of 19 from the Panthers.
With Baye Moussa Keita out, the Orange only played six players. Michael Gbinije was productive off the bench, scoring seven points while tying a season-high with 22 minutes.
The Orange will play their next game this Saturday at the Carrier Dome against North Carolina State. Tip is at 3 p.m. ET.