In a jam packed Saturday for Syracuse athletics, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team started it off with a third consecutive win over in state foe, Albany — collecting a 75-53 victory.
After an overtime win over Columbia to start the season, the Great Danes dropped their next two before meeting the Orange at the Dome.
Syracuse didn’t get off to the slow offensive starts that we saw against Ohio and Maryland Eastern Shore, but UAlbany looked game to compete in this one from the tip. After shooting 50% from the field in the first quarter, the Orange and the Danes were tied at 16 at the first break. It’s evident after the first three games that Syracuse takes the first quarter of the game to feel things out and use their athleticism and height to impose themselves on these weaker teams.
The second quarter is where they find their scoring groove and try to push tempo. After tightening up defensively, UAlbany would make just three field goals in the second quarter for eight points compared to the Orange’s 18. Even though Syracuse was able to break away a little in the second, it wasn’t pretty by any means. Strautmane and Engstler really couldn’t get anything going which wasn’t great because it looked like the game plan offensively was to run through them today. At the half Syracuse was up 34-24, but you felt like it really shouldn’t be this close. Both teams would combine for 17 turnovers in the first half and would go on long scoring droughts.
Scoring would get going for both teams in the third as a Kiara Lewis jumper would give Syracuse a 39-24 lead, but the Danes would weather the storm and hold on to stay in this. A Kyara Frames three would cut the Syracuse lead to 45-37 with 2:14 left in the quarter. A three from Gabrielle Cooper would push Syracuse back to a double digit lead after the third frame making it 54-42. While outscoring the Danes in the third, the Orange were definitely unable to put them away.
The fourth quarter would be all Orange, thankfully. Outscoring UAlbany 21-11 in the final frame, Syracuse was able to use timely defensive stops and big shots to win 75-53. The Orange were led by three players in double figure scoring. Kiara Lewis led the way with 17, followed by 14 from Emily Engstler, and 10 from Gabrielle Cooper. Engstler posted her second consecutive double double as she also corralled in 10 rebounds, which contributed to a 43-31 rebounding advantage for the Orange. Kyara Frames would tally 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. She would lead her team in each respective category.
The next game is the one we’ve been waiting for. A week from tomorrow the number one ranked team in the country, the Oregon Ducks, will come to town in a marque Top 25 matchup. Syracuse took care of business and went 3-0 in the first three games, and now have a full week to prep for the PAC-12 favorite. Tip time for this one will be at 4 p.m. ET.