Pittsburgh • Tyler Ennis took the inbounds pass with 4.4 seconds left and dribbled up court, weaving through Pitt’s defense. He had the option of shooting or passing to Trevor Cooney.
The Syracuse freshman guard decided to shoot.
It was the right decision.
Ennis made the 35-footer at the buzzer and No. 1 Syracuse remained unbeaten with a 58-56 victory over No. 25 Pitt on Wednesday night.
“I saw someone ran over to Trevor and I just had to beat one guy,” Ennis said. “I knew they weren’t going to let Trevor get it. I just had to get some space. I knew I could get open for a second.”
Syracuse (24-0, 11-0 ACC) and Wichita State are the lone undefeated teams in Division I. Talib Zanna, who led Pitt (20-5, 8-4) with 16 points and 14 rebounds, hit two free throws after being fouled on a layup attempt to give the Panthers a 56-55 lead before Ennis’ winner.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon called a timeout after the free throws to set his defense. That also allowed Syracuse to draw up a play designed for its fearless freshman.
“We guarded it about as well as you could guard it,” Dixon said. “He made about a 40-footer. We did what we were supposed to do. If we had to do it again. ... We did the right things.
“They were going to get a shot off. He made it, and he made a tough one. We knew he’d have the ball and would be the guy. We had two guys on him. He hit the shot. Our guys defended, and he hit a shot.”
It was Pitt’s first loss at home to a top-five team in the 12-year history of the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers (20-5, 8-4) had been 9-0 against top-five teams.
• No. 1 Syracuse 58, No. 25 Pitt 56
• No. 6 Villanova 87,DePaul 62
• No. 8 Duke at North Carolina (postponed)
• No. 14 Kentucky 64, Auburn 56
• No. 20 Memphis 76,UCF 70
• No. 24 UConn 83,South Florida 40