Todd Burgan scored seven of his 27 points in a 16-0 run at the start of the second half that carried Syracuse to an 84-73 win.
Syracuse (17-4, 7-3 Big East) led 29-28 at halftime. The Orangemen took advantage of Pittsburgh turnovers on four consecutive possessions and scored 16 consecutive points in the first 3:55 of the second half to take a 45-28 lead. Jason Hart scored six of his 12 points in the same stretch.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said the Orangemen stepped up the defensive pressure in the second half and exploited the matchups against two freshmen, forward Attila Cosby and guard Ricardo Greer.
"Experience wins in this league," Boeheim said. "Our experience took over. It's hard to win in this league when you're starting two front-line freshmen. Freshmen normally are not ready to play in this league. Look at the track record. There are exceptions but it's not real good."
The Panthers (7-9, 2-7) were unable to handle Syracuse's defense at the start of the second half, which forced the turnovers and poor shot selection.
"The four turnovers really set us back," Pittsburgh coach Ralph Willard said. "That stretch gave Syracuse confidence to relax and play."
Ryan Blackwell and Etan Thomas each scored 14 for Syracuse. Blackwell also had a game-high eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
Vonteego Cummings led Pittsburgh with 23 points, but 14 of those came after the Panthers had fallen behind by 24 points.
"This game was not about what Syracuse did, I think it was about what we did not do," Cummings said. "We did not handle the ball well and we did not play up to sped."
Burgan was 8-for-11 and was perfect on all five of his 3-pointers. He also made six of eight free throws and fell two points short of the career high.
"We can continue to get better," Burgan said. "We can look at this game and see a lot of things to improve on. We have to keep moving in that direction."
Syracuse shot just 35 percent in the first half (8-for-23) but improved to 68 percent (17-for-25) in the second.
Pittsburgh, forced into attempting 3-point shots to get back in the game, made only five of 23.
The Panthers have lost four consecutive games and five of their last six.
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