first_imgPITTSBURGH, Pa. — When the baseline referee blew his whistle and raised his right arm in one fluid motion, Dajuan Coleman immediately knew what it meant.He went to contest Michael Young’s layup attempt and, just before easing off, committed his fifth foul with 6:30 on the game clock. The starting center dropped his arms to his sides and stared down his long, and final, walk off the court. The Pittsburgh crowd chanted “Left! … Right! … Left! … Right!…” as Coleman limped toward the sideline and cheered emphatically after he squeezed his 6-foot-9, 268-pound body into a seat on the Syracuse bench.With Coleman, the Orange had a fighting chance at upsetting a much stronger Panthers team. Without him, SU (10-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) crumbled inside and fumbled away a 72-61 loss to Pittsburgh (11-1, 1-0) at the Petersen Events Center on Wednesday night.The Panthers finished with 22 second-chance points to the Orange’s two. They out-rebounded Syracuse, 43-25. Coleman finished with just two points and one rebound in 15 minutes, a minuscule dent on the final box score.But the Panthers went on an 19-9 run to finish the game after he fouled out. Syracuse didn’t make a field goal in the final 5:32. And Pitt pulled away inside while the Orange’s best low-post defender looked on.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Dajuan’s physical presence, we need,” SU interim head coach Mike Hopkins said. “They did a good job of ducking in and got him in foul trouble.”To limit Pittsburgh’s low-post production in the first half, Hopkins rolled out a big lineup with Coleman playing alongside forwards Tyler Lydon and Tyler Roberson. The group had success trapping the Panthers in the corner, which disrupted their offensive flow and helped the Orange get out on the fast break.And while Coleman wasn’t getting a lot of touches in the low post, he was drawing Pittsburgh’s attention and opening opportunities for his teammates going toward the rim. By attacking the basket, often off Coleman screens, Syracuse built an eight-point lead with 14:28 left after the game was knotted, 30-30, at halftime.“If (Coleman) didn’t score, he got his shot up and we had a chance to offensive rebound it,” SU point guard Michael Gbinije said. “With him getting in foul trouble and going out, it kind of hurt us not having that low-post presence offensively.”The Panthers chipped away at SU’s lead before Coleman’s fifth foul, and then flipped it on its head. Pitt forward Sheldon Jeter went on a personal 7-0 run — a layup from the short corner, three-point play inside and a fast-break dunk — to put his team up 67-59 with 1:09 left in the game. The Orange tried to force the ball inside but committed back-to-back turnovers instead. With SU lacking its inside presence, the Panthers pressed out on its shooters and got to the rim at will on the other end.Syracuse withstood Pittsburgh’s physicality, and even countered with some of its own, until its most physical player was no longer on the floor.“Me getting in foul trouble, that hurt the team,” Coleman said. “I wasn’t out there, and I think I needed to be out there.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse drops 1st conference game to Pittsburgh, 72-61Grade Syracuse’s performance against Pittsburgh and vote for the player of the gameSyracuse crumbles after Dajuan Coleman fouls out in 72-61 loss to PittsburghFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 72-61 loss to PittsburghSyracuse community reacts to loss against Pittsburghcenter_img Published on December 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesselast_img