The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 13, 2014

Ennis’ 35-footer tops Pitt; keeps No. 1 Syracuse unbeaten

PITTSBURGH — Tyler Ennis made a 35-footer at the buzzer to help No. 1 Syracuse remain unbeaten with a 58-56 win over No. 25 Pitt on Wednesday night.

Syracuse (24-0, 11-0 ACC) remained one of two undefeated teams in Division I along with Wichita State.

Trailing by one with 4.4 seconds left, Ennis caught the inbounds pass and dribble up the court before hitting the shot over two defenders.

Talib Zanna, who led Pitt (20-5, 8-4) with 16 points and 14 rebounds, had given Pitt a 56-55 lead with 4.4 seconds remaining after he hit two free throws.

It was Pitt’s first loss at home to a top-five team in the 12-year history of the Petersen Events Center, their on-campus arena. The Panthers (20-5, 8-4) had been 9-0 against top-five teams and 13-1 against teams ranked in the top 10.

C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 14 points.

Pitt had a 54-48 lead with less than two minutes remaining, but Fair made a 3-pointer with 1:40 to go. He then hit a jumper to make it 54-53 with 51 seconds left. After Pitt missed on the other end, Ennis made two free throws with 10 seconds left to give the Orange the lead.

Pitt led 27-24 at halftime and built its lead to nine in the early stages of the second half when Lamar Patterson made a 3-pointer to make it 37-28 with 15 minutes remaining.

Syracuse stormed back with a 17-8 run and tied the score on a Trevor Cooney 3-pointer with 6:53 to go, but Pitt regained control after Zanna converted a three-point play and freshman Jamel Artis sank two free throws for a 50-45 lead.

But it was all Syracuse after that. Pitt’s only points in the final 1:59 came from Zanna’s two free throws, and the Panthers were outscored 10-3 in the final 1:59.

Syracuse had to play without backup center Baye Moussa Keita, who sat out with a sprained knee. That forced sophomore forward Jerami Grant into duty as the backup center behind Rakeem Christmas.

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