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Pitt rebounds to beat Syracuse

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Another DeJuan Blair double-double and the hot shooting of Sam Young spelled double trouble for Syracuse. Young made 7 of 12 shots to score a game-high 22 points and Blair finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, as No. 4 Pitt beat No. 8 Syracuse, 78-60, tonight in a Big East Conference game before a sellout crowd of 12,508 at Petersen Events Center and an ESPN national television audience. It was Blair’s 11th double-double of the season. Pitt (17-1, 5-1) won the battle of the boards, 40-28, and the Panthers scored 44 points in the paint. Levance Fields added 15 points, six assists and five rebounds. Pitt, however, made only 9 of 17 free throws. Syracuse (17-3, 5-2) was led by guard Andy Rautins, who made five 3-pointers to score 17 points. Point guard Jonny Flynn added 12 points. The Orange took its first lead of the game, 28-27, on a Rautins 3-pointer at 2:01 of the first half. The Panthers responded with two Blair free throws and a double-clutch leaner in the lane by Levance Fields with 3.6 seconds left for a 31-28 halftime lead. Pitt never trailed again. Pitt used a 20-5 run, which included nine unanswered points, in the second half for a 53-40 edge. The Panthers pulled away in the final seven minutes, when Fields hit a 3-pointer for a 10-point lead and Young sandwiched a pair of treys around a Blair dunk to give Pitt a 14-point edge.

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