7:00 PM ET, February 12, 2014
Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tyler Ennis' 35-footer at the buzzer keeps No. 1 Syracuse unbeaten
The Syracuse freshman guard decided to shoot.
It was the right decision.
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Syracuse didn't play its best game Wednesday and shouldn't have beaten Pittsburgh, but thanks to freshman Tyler Ennis' late-game heroics, the Orange are still unbeaten, Eamonn Brennan writes. Story
Ennis made the 35-footer at the buzzer and No. 1 Syracuse remained unbeaten with a 58-56 victory over No. 25 Pitt on Wednesday night.
"I saw someone ran over to Trevor and I just had to beat one guy," Ennis said. "I knew they weren't going to let Trevor get it. I just had to get some space. I knew I could get open for a second."
Syracuse (24-0, 11-0 ACC) and Wichita State are the lone undefeated teams in Division I.
Talib Zanna, who led Pitt (20-5, 8-4) with 16 points and 14 rebounds, hit two free throws after being fouled on a layup attempt to give the Panthers a 56-55 lead before Ennis' winner.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon called a timeout after the free throws to set his defense. That also allowed Syracuse to draw up a play designed for its fearless freshman.
"We guarded it about as well as you could guard it," Dixon said. "He made about a 40-footer. We did what we were supposed to do. If we had to do it again. ... We did the right things.
"They were going to get a shot off. He made it, and he made a tough one. We knew he'd have the ball and would be the guy. We had two guys on him. He hit the shot. Our guys defended, and he hit a shot."
It was Pitt's first loss at home to a top-five team in the 12-year history of the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers had been 9-0 against top-five teams and 13-1 against teams ranked in the top 10.
"They hit a lucky shot," Zanna said. "We can't do anything about it, just move on."
C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 14 points.
Tyler In The Clutch
Tyler Ennis does not make mistakes when the game is on the line. In one-possession games in the final 5 minutes of regulation and overtime this season, Ennis is now 8-for-9 on field goals. He also has 6 assists and no turnovers in those situations.
Final 5:00 of 2nd Half/OT This Season
|*1-1 3-pt FG, 2-2 FT vs Pittsburgh
-- Source: ESPN Stats & Information
Pitt had a 54-48 lead with less than 2 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.
"C.J. hadn't hit a 3 all game. He hadn't hit the rim, and he makes a 3 and then he hits a pretty tough pull-up to give us a chance," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Those were big plays and you have to be a special player to make those plays."
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 it on Trevor Cooney's 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.
Pitt had injury issues of its own. Senior forward and leading scorer Lamar Patterson had the thumb on his right hand wrapped for a second consecutive game. After going 1 for 9 in his previous outing against Virginia Tech, Patterson scored 13 points.
PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 12: Talib Zanna #42 of the Pittsburgh Panthers drives to the basket against the...(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||18-42 (.429)||18-50 (.360)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-14 (.429)||6-19 (.316)|
|FT Made-Attempted||16-19 (.842)||14-19 (.737)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|
Next 5 Games
ACC Conference Standings
|TEAM||CONF W-L||TOTAL W-L|
|View expanded standings »|
Tyler Ennis has been incredible in the clutch. In the last 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime in 1-possession games, he's scoring 1.94 points per play with 6 assists and 0 turnovers. That's far and away better than any of the other top freshmen -- Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle.[+]
Last 5:00 of 2nd Half/OT in 1-Possession Games - Notable Freshmen This Season
Tyler Ennis had only made 1 field goal in the 2nd half prior to his game-winning 3-pointer from halfcourt...and it was a layup with 13:57 left. He had only made 2 total field goals prior to that shot.
Pittsburgh's offensive-rebounding percentage (47%) was the second-highest allowed by Syracuse this season. Syracuse scored three second-chance points Wednesday, and was held to two second-chance points in its first meeting with Pittsburgh on Jan. 18. The Orange have scored at least eight second-chance points in every other game this season.[+]
According to KenPom.com's win probability calculator and assuming this was a toss-up game before it started, Pitt had a 97.7% chance of winning when leading 54-48 after Talib Zanna's putback basket with 1:56 remaining.
Talib Zanna's tip-in with 1:56 remaining gave Pittsburgh a six-point lead. Syracuse outscored the Panthers 10-2 the rest of the way, not missing from the field (3-of-3) or the free throw line (2-of-2).[+]
Final 1:56 - Wednesday
That was the first game-tying/go-ahead field-goal attempt Tyler Ennis has attempted in the final minute of a game. In the final 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime on plays in which Syracuse has a chance to tie the game or take the lead, Ennis is now 4-for-4 on field goals, including the game-winning 3-pointer against Pittsburgh, and 8-for-8 on free throws, including 2 clutch free throws against Pitt. He also has 4 assists and no turnovers in those situations.[+]
Final 5:00 of 2nd Half/OT This Season - Tyler Ennis Game-Tying/Go-Ahead Plays
In one-possession games (when the score is within 3 points) in the final 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime this season, Ennis is now 8-of-9 from the field, including the game-winning 3-point field goal as time expired against Pittsburgh, and 14-of-14 from the free-throw line.[+]
Tyler Ennis in 1-Possession Games - Final 5:00 of 2nd Half/OT, This Season
Tyler Ennis does not make mistakes when the game is on the line. In 1-possession games (when the score is within 3 points) in the final 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime this season, Ennis is now 8-for-9 on field goals, including the game-winning 3-pointer against Pitt, and 14-for-14 on free throws, including 2 clutch free throws against Pitt. He also has 6 assists and no turnovers in those situations.[+]
Final 5:00 of 2nd Half/OT This Season - Tyler Ennis in 1-Possession Games
Syracuse's Tyler Ennis turned the ball over with 3:17 left in the 2nd half tonight, his 1st turnover with under 5:00 left in the 2nd half all season. Ennis entered the game with 20 assists and 0 turnovers in the final 5 minutes of the 2nd half and overtime.
ESPN Stats & Information