SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Louis McCroskey stepped up with a career-best performance for Syracuse, but Chevon Troutman's shooting at the free-throw line proved to be enough for Pittsburgh.
Troutman converted 16-of-20 free throws en route to 20 points and Carl Krauser added 15 as No. 15 Pittsburgh posted a 68-64 victory over the ninth-ranked Orange in a Big East Conference matchup.
Troutman, who had 18 points and nine rebounds to help Pittsburgh (18-4, 8-3 Big East) overcome a 17-point first-half deficit in a 76-69 victory over Syracuse on January 29, did most of his damage at the line in this one, going 4-of-4 in the final 18 seconds.
"His improvement as a foul shooter is crucial," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "He hit two shots from the field, but was attacking the basket. He was tremendous. I feel like I've given this speech before. He does it. He's tough, and the guys know how tough he is."
Syracuse (22-4, 9-3) had a 58-50 lead following Craig Forth's free throw with 5:23 left, but missed 10 of its last 13 shots - including six 3-pointers - to absorb its first loss in six games decided by five points or fewer.
"We didn't make any shots," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, whose team shot 23 percent (5-of-22) from the arc. "We had 11 turnovers and our press was good. Everything was good except for one thing - we didn't make any shots."
Krauser made two 3-pointers and Troutman scored inside during a 10-2 run that tied the score at 60-60 with 4:35 remaining. Krauser, who made 4-of-7 3-pointers, added another shot from the arc with 50 seconds left to supply the Panthers with a 64-60 lead.
"I don't know what his numbers were when he hit those shots, but our guys believed in him, and he believed in himself," Dixon said. "He and (Gerry) McNamara are the same type of player - they believe in their shots. Karl stepped up and made big plays, and he's been doing it for a long time."
McNamara, who entered the game seventh in Division I with 3.32 3-pointers per game, had an off night from the arc, missing all four of his attempts. He finished 5-of-22 from the field with 16 points for Syracuse, which fell to 1-4 in its last five games against ranked opponents.
With leading-scorer Hakim Warrick limited to eight points below his season average of 20, McCroskey picked up the slack by scoring a career-high 18. The sophomore guard also pulled down a career-best seven rebounds.
"Louie came in and had a tremendous game," Boeheim said. "We needed someone to come in, pick it up and when they went to the zone, he made some shots and made some good plays."
After struggling in the first half, Krauser scored 12 points in the second to help Pittsburgh record its sixth win in its last eight meetings with Syracuse.
"We pressure their best players into making tough shots," said Troutman about the Panthers' recent success against the Orange. "They make tough shots, but they don't finish games like we do. I feel like we do a better job of that."