New York, NY – James Southerland had another sensational shooting performance and No. 19 Syracuse held on for a 62-59 decision to send 17th-ranked Pittsburgh home from the Big East Tournament for the last time.
After making 6-of-9 from long distance in their second-round win over Seton Hall, Southerland converted all six of his 3-pointers en route to 20 points on Thursday for the Orange (25-8), who will take on top-seeded Georgetown for the third time this season in Friday's semifinal.
"Pittsburgh is a tremendous defensive team," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "We just had great ball movement. Got the open guys, and James just got -- he got good looks, and he made them."
Michael Carter-Williams added clutch free throws down the stretch to tally 11 points with seven assists and recorded his third steal late in the game to seal the victory for Syracuse, which received 13 and 12 points, respectively, from C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche.
The Panthers (24-8), along with the Orange, are bolting for the Atlantic Coast Conference at the start of the 2013-14 season and shot just 37.5 percent in their Big East Tournament finale.
Lamar Peterson finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Tray Woodall scored 12 and both James Robinson and Talib Zanna had 10 points in defeat.
Syracuse, a 32 percent shooting team from 3-point range during the regular season, shot at least 60 percent for the second consecutive day to pace its offense -- drilling 12-of-19 shots from long distance -- however Pitt found itself in good position late in the contest.
The Panthers had trailed by 13 at the break, but were within 58-55 with 1:15 remaining after Woodall capitalized on three-point play opportunity, which Southerland caused by goaltending on his running jumper.
Fair missed at the other end for Syracuse and Zanna had a chance to tie the game after drawing a foul on his putback, but he missed the free throw.
Carter-Williams then made a pair of free throws to increase the Orange's lead to three, and after picking off a Robinson pass, he sank two more from the stripe to put the contest out of reach.
Southerland buried his fourth and fifth triples in the final three minutes of the first half to spark an 11-4 run, which sent the Orange into halftime with a 40-27 lead.
"Simply put, our transition defense wasn't good in the first half, and that's how he got open looks," said Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon. "When he got matched up on different guys, our 5 was guarding him on the one play."
Woodall, however, made two from beyond the arc during a 9-3 push to get the Panthers within four at the 8:39 mark and back-to-back scores from Patterson and Zanna 4 1/2 minutes later had Pitt trailing 55-51.
Southerland set a Big East Tournament record with the most 3-pointers without a miss ... Pittsburgh had won its last four contests coming into the tournament ... The Panthers defeated Syracuse in their only regular season matchup, but Southerland was serving a six-game suspension for an academic issue and did not play ... Pittsburgh has dropped five of its last six postseason games at Madison Square Garden since winning the Big East Tournament in 2008.