Orange, Pitt Collide Saturday in the Dome
January 18, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
SYRACUSE SPORTS RELEASE
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The top two teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) meet on Saturday, Jan. 18 when No. 2/2 Syracuse hosts No. 22/21 Pittsburgh. Tipoff in the Carrier Dome is set for 4 p.m. The squads are tied for the top spot in the ACC with 4-0 league records.
Tickets for Saturday's game are available online, by phone (1-888-DOMETIX) or in person at the Carrier Dome Box Office (Gate B).The game will be televised on ESPN and ESPN3. Fans can listen to the action on the Syracuse IMG Radio Network and its flagship TK99 (99.5 FM). Live audio will be available on Orange All Access on SUathletics.com. Subscriptions to Orange All Access are available at daily, monthly and yearly rates.
What to Watch For – Syracuse (17-0, 4-0)
1. Syracuse is one of three Division I teams that remain unbeaten this season. The other two are Arizona and Wichita State. The Orange has started the season with 17 consecutive victories for the fourth time in school history. Syracuse began the 2010-11 season with 18 victories, and posted 19 consecutive wins at the beginning of the 1999-2000 campaign. The 2011-12 Orange recorded SU's best start, opening the season with 20 consecutive victories.
2. Syracuse continues to be one of the top defensive teams in the nation. Syracuse ranks eighth in scoring defense in the latest NCAA statistics released earlier this week. The Orange is ninth in total steals and sixth in turnover margin.
3. Sophomore Trevor Cooney showed he can score in ways other than the three-point shot in Syracuse's win against Boston College. He was 6-for-8 from the field, including 2-for-5 from three-point range. His points came off dunks, layups and jumpers. In addition, Cooney was 3-for-4 from the free throw line and finished the game with a team-high 21 points. He ranks second on the team in scoring this season, averaging 14.1 points per game.
What to Watch For – Pittsburgh (16-1, 4-0)
1. Pittsburgh enters Saturday's game on a six-game winning streak. The Panthers' only loss this season was a 44-43 setback against Cincinnati at the Jimmy V Classic. Pittsburgh is 4-0 in the ACC, notching wins against North Carolina State, Maryland, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.
2. Syracuse will face the most accurate shooting team and one of the best rebounding teams in the ACC on Saturday. Pittsburgh leads the leage in shooting percentage, hitting 48.8 percent of its shots. The Panthers average 9.4 more rebounds per game than their opponent, which leads the ACC. Lamar Patterson ranks fifth in the conference in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per contest, while Taliz Zanna ranks fourth in rebounding (8.1 rpg.).
3. Jamie Dixon is in his 15th season at Pittsburgh and 11th as the head coach. He has guided the Panthers to a record of 278-87. Dixon earned national coach of the year honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Syracuse leads the all-time series with Pittsburgh, 63-39. The Orange has won two of the last three meetings after the Panthers won five straight against SU from 2007-11.
Syracuse will have a week off before playing the first of two consecutive road games at Miami on Saturday, Jan. 25. Game time is set for 1 p.m.