PITTSBURGH (AP) — Justin Champagnie had a big game after missing a month with an injury, Ithiel Horton hit five 3-pointers and Pittsburgh pulled away from Syracuse for a 96-76 win on Saturday.
Champagnie, who injured a knee on Dec. 20th, had 24 points and 16 rebounds. Xavier Johnson added 23 points, going 13 for 13 from the foul line, with six rebounds and seven assists for Pitt (7-2, 3-1 ACC). Horton scored 20 points and Au’Diese Toney 18.
Champagnie had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the second half as the Panthers took over in the last eight minutes. Johnson had 15 points and Horton 14 after the break.
Champagnie was averaging 17.8 points, third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and 12.3 rebounds, second in the nation but only missed two games because of coronavirus postponements.
Alan Griffin scored 28 points for the Orange (7-4, 1-3), 20 after the break, and Quincy Guerrier 18 with 12 rebounds. Marek Dolezaj scored 14 and Buddy Boeheim 12.
Pitt, which erased an 18-point first-half deficit to beat Syracuse 63-60 10 days ago, trailed 37-32 at the half. Pitt’s intervening two games had been postponed before facing Syracuse again Saturday.
Syracuse was within 64-60 with 8 1/2 minutes to play, the difference in the evenly played game being Horton’s long-range shooting. But in the last eight minutes the Panthers were 10 of 15 from the field and 13 of 14 from the foul line to outscore the Orange 32-16.
Pitt ended up shooting 58% from the field and 16 of 18 from line in the second half as well as going plus-10 rebounding. The Panthers were 4 of 8 from 3-point range to finish 8 of 23 from distance.
Syracuse ended up 3 of 22 behind the arc and 40% overall but made 19 of 22 free throws.
On Wednesday, Pittsburgh is scheduled to take on Duke at home while Miami visits Syracuse.
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