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Syracuse women’s basketball beats Clemson 59-46, to win fifth straight

The Orange are suddenly rolling.

Syracuse v Stanford: Greater Victoria Invitational

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team picked up another big victory Thursday afternoon, increasing their win streak to five.

SU started off strong in the first quarter, something they really needed to do against a pesky Clemson squad. The Tigers don’t have a great record, but they have the ability to hang with teams and put a scare into them. Syracuse got out to a 10-0 lead thanks to back to back threes from Gabrielle Cooper and Kiara Lewis. Shania Meertens stopped the bleeding for Clemson as her jumper with 6:50 left in the third finally got rid of the goose egg. Digna Strautmane continued her good play shortly after as she knocked down consecutive buckets to increase the Cuse lead to 18-6.

Clemson was having trouble figuring out the zone as turnovers plagued them in the early going. Just about everyone got into the scoring column for the Orange in the first, as Amaya Finklea-Guity and Emily Engstler contributed multiple layups and free throws. Lewis capped the half for the ‘Cuse with a three and two free throws as the Orange took a 24-11 lead into the second quarter. Whatever hot shooting SU had in the first did not carry over to the second however, as they simply couldn’t find the end of the basket.

Syracuse would not score until there was 2:49 left in the quarter (yes that bad), when Finklea-Guity made a layup. Clemson didn’t exactly light the world on fire, but found some decent rhythm behind good offense from Kendall Spray and Kobi Thornton. Kiara Lewis was able to find the basket with three seconds left in the half, and the Orange were able to lead 28-22 at the end of two. Clemson held Syracuse to just 4 second quarter points, the fewest of any quarter this season.

The Orange struggled early in the second half, as their cold shooting continued. Clemson was able to take advantage of the poor offensive play and take a 33-32 lead after a Hannah Hank layup. Shortly after, Syracuse was able to use a 13-0 run powered by scoring from all over. Strautmane, Engstler, Cooper, Hyman, and Djaldi-Tabdi all got in on the action during the run, and this would end up being the knockout punch. Clemson had little answer after the flurry of scoring, and trailed 52-39 going into the final frame.

The fourth was hard to watch for both teams as the offense just simply wasn’t there. Syracuse wasn’t able to fully pull away, but Clemson also wasn’t able to really get back in this thing. Both squads each scored 7 points, and that would do it in the Dome for the Orange’s fifth consecutive win by a score of 59-46. Coach Q’s team is getting hot at the right time. Lewis looked really good again, and Syracuse used their size to get 24 offensive rebounds. By no means was it an offensive showcase, but they did everything they needed to do to win this one.

Kobi Thornton was the only Tiger in double figures, as she tallied 12 points and grabbed 7 boards. Kiara Lewis once again led the Orange with 17 points, followed by Amaya Finklea-Guity who had 11 points and 9 rebounds. Gabrielle Cooper got her second career double-double, as she got 10 points and got 10 boards.

The recent hot play from the Orange makes things really interesting. They sit right in the bubble, playing really good basketball (beating teams they should beat), and seem to be poised for an ACC Tournament run. The turnaround is quick for Syracuse though, as they now have to travel to Notre Dame on Sunday for a rematch of the overtime thriller from earlier in the year. If SU wants to keep these tournament hopes alive, it continues with a road win in South Bend.