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Syracuse men’s basketball bounces back against Pitt in 69-58 victory Tuesday

Quadir Copeland (4, orange) drives to the basket in SU’s win over Pitt.
Quadir Copeland (4, orange) drives to the basket in SU’s win over Pitt.

Syracuse men’s basketball (12-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) jumped back in the win column following a 69-58 victory over Pittsburgh (10-7, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) Tuesday night. The Orange, which were coming off a 103-67 defeat to No. 4 North Carolina on Saturday, captured their first in-conference road victory of the season.

SU received most of its offensive production through guards Judah Mintz and J.J. Starling. Mintz, who has notched double figures in nine consecutive games, finished second in scoring on the team with 14 points, while Starling notched a team best total of 17. Head coach Adrian Autry expressed that he was proud of both players following the victory.

“I thought this was Judah’s best floor game of the year,” Autry said following the win. “He got guys involved, scored and rebounded. I was really happy for him .”

“J.J. came to play today,” Autry continued. “That was his best game in an SU uniform. He defended and made big shots. He was aggressive and attacked.”

Starling has scored 17 or more points just two other times in SU’s 2023-24 campaign. The Baldwinsville native was one of seven players on the Orange to score a triple on Tuesday night, a total that stands as the most for Autry’s team all season.

“I think he’s been up and down like us,” Autry commented on Starling’s performance. “We’re still growing. There are certain days he plays like he did today and certain days where something else steps up. I think it’s about getting everyone on the same page. J.J. in particular is starting to get comfortable with his teammates.”

Overall, Syracuse shot 10-for-17 from beyond the arc, averaging at 58.8%. Conversely, the Orange were just 4-for-19 from downtown in their loss to North Carolina on Tuesday. Autry stated ball movement as a key reason for the improvement on three's between the two games.

“I thought we made passes,” he said. “We really drove the ball and kicked out… All the shots were in rhythm. There were no forced shots.”

Judah Mintz (3, orange) pulls up for a jumper in SU's win against Pitt.
Judah Mintz (3, orange) pulls up for a jumper in SU's win against Pitt.

Defensively, Syracuse held all Pitt players to under 20 points. Forward Blake Hinson, who scored 22 points against SU the last time the Orange traveled to the Steel City, was held to just half that total on Tuesday night.

“To come on the road and shoot the basketball as well as they did tonight was something they haven’t been doing,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said of Syracuse. “They made those shots today. I thought we generated some really good looks early in the game, but we didn’t make them and they did.”

Syracuse travels back home for a contest against Miami (12-5, 3-3 ACC) at noon on Saturday. The Orange are in search of their first victory over the Hurricanes since the 2020-21 season. WAER’s coverage begins at 11:30 p.m. with McClurg Remodeling Countdown to Tipoff.