No. 12 Pittsburgh too much for Orange
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
PITTSBURGH - Most nights, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim would be upset with his team's inability to shut down Pitt guard Carl Krauser. This time, the man Boeheim holds most responsible for the Orange's latest loss is the Big East Conference's schedule-maker.
Krauser broke out of a brief scoring slump with a career-high 32 points and No. 12 Pittsburgh bounced back from its first loss, holding off No. 25 Syracuse's second-half comeback bid to win 80-67 Monday night.
The loss was third straight for the Orange in an eight-day span, all to teams ranked 12th or higher - a schedule Boeheim says would be overly demanding in the NCAA tournament.
"That's just stupid," Boeheim said.
Both teams looked weary as they ended a challenging stretch of games - Pitt was playing its fifth in 12 days and Syracuse its fifth in 13, four on the road. The compact scheduling irritates Boeheim, who said last week that TV was playing too a big a role in determining the Big East schedule.
He was even more critical Monday, saying "maybe I should be fined" for criticizing a curious schedule that now finds Syracuse playing only twice in the next two weeks. He did not mention any Big East officials by name.
"We just played three teams I consider to be Top 10 teams and, right now, we're not a Top 10 team," Boeheim said. "It's sad we have to play great teams back-to-back ... that's not the right way. Nobody else has to do that, play back-to-back Saturday and Monday games two weeks in a row with three of four on the road. That's too much to ask."
On the court, Krauser was too much for the Orange by topping his previous career high of 31 points against Richmond in 2004. Krauser had averaged only eight points, or half his season's average, over the previous three games.
But with Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense packed inside to control 7-foot junior Aaron Gray, Krauser had more room to operate outside and was most effective taking the ball to the basket. He was 13-of-14 at the free-throw line and helped to foul out three Syracuse players as Pitt went 23-of-35 at the line to the Orange's 3-of-5.
"I had no idea I had 32," Krauser said. "I just went out and played the game. Without Aaron (scoring), it's something different for us and we had to look to go with something else."
Brad Buckman scored 19 points, Daniel Gibson added 18 and host Texas stayed unbeaten in the Big 12 with its ninth straight win. LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points for Texas (17-2, 5-0) in a blowout that matched Eddie Sutton's worst loss at Oklahoma State. Texas beat the Cowboys 92-58 in 1997 in the first matchup between these schools in the Big 12.
The Longhorns hit 12 3-pointers and held their ninth straight opponent under 40 percent shooting.
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