The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team was able to get back to their winnings ways on Sunday afternoon after a recent two game skid.
Pittsburgh is not a very good basketball team, but this struggling Syracuse team needed a convincing win on the road, and that’s exactly what they got. For the 17th consecutive time, the Orange beat the Panthers by a score of 69-51.
Just 20 seconds into the game, Gabrielle Cooper drained a three to get the scoring going, which would be a sign of things to come for the Orange. Pittsburgh looked tough early however, getting a lead midway through the first quarter and doing a good job of maintaining it. At the 4:47 mark, Marcella Lamark made a mid range jumper to put Pitt up 15-8. Not exactly the start you wanted against a team that hasn’t won a game since late November. Back to back three point buckets from Cooper and Engstler cut the Panther lead to 18-14, but Pitt would be able to weather the quick Syracuse storm and take a 22-17 lead after the first frame. Gabbie Green would have ten early points for Pitt. Not what you like to see.
Syracuse would turn it on in the second quarter, though. A Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi layup tied the game at 26 at 6:13 mark, and it finally looked like the Cuse had control of this game. Scoring from up and down the roster would blow this thing right open, and the Orange defense dug in, not allowing a Pittsburgh field goal for the final eight minutes of the quarter. Strautmane and Washington sparked the run with big three’s, but the Panthers were able to get to the line which kept them in it. Syracuse would take a 44(brand)-33 lead into halftime.
Pitt would have one last push in them however, as am Aysia Bugg three pointer would make it a 48-41 Orange lead. Kiara Lewis would score back-to back buckets to get the lead back into double digits, and Syracuse would never let the lead dip below ten from here on out. The Orange looked good down the stretch and wouldn’t let the Panthers make another run, which led to a very relaxing fourth quarter for Syracuse fans. The Orange would go onto win by a score of 69-51, their largest conference win so far this season.
Coach Q’s squad would have four players in double figures. Kiara Lewis led all scorers with 19 points, who had to play even more minutes with Teisha Hyman out with an illness. Digna Strautmane tallied 19, including 9 rebounds, followed by 10 points for Emily Engslter and Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, respectively. Kiara Lewis played all 40 minutes of this one, grabbing six steals in the process. Gabbie Green had 16 points for the Panthers followed by 13 for Aysia Bugg. With the loss, Pitt falls to 3-14 on the year.
Syracuse playing Pitt when they did was pretty fortunate. Two ugly losses to Miami and GT took some of the thunder out of what was an exciting run earlier in the month. The Orange now move to 9-8, and 3-3 in conference play. Every opportunity is on the table for Syracuse to make the tournament, but they need to start playing a lot better than we saw against Miami and Georgia Tech. Coach Q will go for win number 298 in his career on January 23 to host Duke in the Dome at 8:00p.m. on the ACC Network.