No. 2 Syracuse holds off upset-minded Pitt

Associated PressJanuary 18, 2014 

Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis scored 16 points, including two driving layups and two free throws in the final 2 minutes, and No. 2 Syracuse beat No. 22 Pittsburgh 59-54 on Saturday in a battle for first place in the ACC between the two former Big East rivals.

Syracuse (18-0, 5-0 ACC) entered the game 2-0 against former Big East rivals, with victories against St. John’s and Villanova. The Orange made it three straight and remained one of only three unbeatens in Division I.

In four of the past five seasons, Syracuse has started with at least 13 consecutive wins, and twice in the last four years Pitt (16-2, 4-1) had stopped those streaks.

In a seesaw game that was tight all the way, Ennis, encouraged by coach Jim Boeheim to take more shots, won it by hitting a scoop with 1:47 left and a lefty layup with 30.6 seconds to go as the crowd of 30,046 shook the Carrier Dome with deafening roars.

Pitt had chances to tie it, but Lamar Patterson missed two 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes and Cameron Wright missed another. Patterson finished with 18 points, 14 in the second half.

Pitt shot 38.3 percent (18-for-47) and Syracuse finished at 51.2 percent (21-for-41).

Miami 56, Georgia Tech 42: Freshman Manu Lecomte scored a career-high 16 points, Donnavan Kirk added 14 points and visiting Miami’s tight zone defense was the difference.

The Hurricanes (10-7, 2-3) showed why it ranks ninth in average points allowed, causing Georgia Tech to miss 27 of its first 35 shots from the field.

Trae Golden finished with 12 points for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 1-4), who used an eight-man rotation following injuries or sickness suffered by Robert Carter Jr., Jason Morris and Solomon Poole.

The Hurricanes never trailed after Lecomte’s layup made it 7-5 early in the first, taking their first double-digit lead on a pair of free throws by Lemonte with 3 seconds left before intermission.

Rion Brown, a native of Hinesville, Ga., had 12 points for Miami, which finished with just four assists, but most of its baskets came off the dribble.

Georgia Tech, which began the game with the nation’s 11th-worst shooting on 3-point attempts, finished 4-for-20 beyond the arc and had little hope against a Miami defense that ranks ninth nationally in scoring.

The Yellow Jackets have dropped eight of 11 in the series.

Virginia 78, Florida State 66: Joe Harris scored 18 points and host Virginia used an early 22-5 run to take command and sweep its season series against the Seminoles.

Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points for the Cavaliers (13-5, 4-1), who won 62-50 at Florida State on Jan. 4. The sweep is the first for the Cavaliers since the 2000-01 season.

Okaro White and Aaron Thomas scored 15 each for Florida State (12-5, 3-2). The Seminoles arrived second in the ACC defensively, allowing teams to make just 36.3 percent of their field goal attempts, but the Cavaliers shot better than 55 percent in the first half in bolting to 45-26 lead by halftime.

The Cavaliers also closed the half with an 11-3 burst that featured five points from Akil Mitchell.

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