The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team cashed in on its fourth straight victory on Wednesday night, easily downing the Cornell Big Red, 85-55 at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse took a big lead after the first quarter and never looked back, improving to 6-4 on the season. They shot 32-of-61 from the floor and 12-of-29 from three-point range. The Orange also shot 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, and forced 18 Cornell turnovers.
The Orange deployed a balanced attack, with all five starters putting up double-figures. Naje Murray had a game-high 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting.
Alaysia Styles added 16 points on an efficient 7-of-10 performance field, and also had nine rebounds. Christianna Carr had 12 on four threes and Chrislyn Carr and Teisha Hyman chipped in with 11. Hyman continued to distribute the ball at a nice pace, adding six assists.
Cornell could only muster a 33% shooting effort from the field and was not effective from deep, registering a 3-for-20 (15%) performance.
Theresa Grace Mbanefo was the only visiting player in double-digits with 12 points. Samantha Will and Olivia Snyder each added seven.
The Orange raced out to a fast start. The home team drained four threes in the first 2:40 of the game to take an early 12-2 lead. Cornell could not get on the board and Syracuse extended its lead to 18-3 with an Alaysia Styles layup.
SU led 23-9 after the first quarter and extended the advantage to 39-22 at the halftime break.
Syracuse didn’t waste time extending its lead in the second half. Christianna Carr nailed a three to make it 46-25 and Murray kept things rolling with a layup to extend the lead to 54-27 with 4:38 left in the third to cap a 15-5 run.
Murray hit a three to extend the advantage to 63-31 in the late stages of the third. Styles provided Syracuse’s last basket of the quarter and the Orange took a 68-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
Seldom-used reserve Julianna Walker came off the bench to hit two threes in the last stanza, the home team continued to click on offense. At one point, Syracuse made it 81-45 after Christianna Carr hit a three.
The Orange are really starting to come together. The assist numbers are up and the defense looks like it is settling in. There aren’t too many guaranteed victories left on the schedule, so it will be interesting to see how Syracuse deals with its conference schedule.
SU’s chances of regularly picking off high-level opponents are slim, but if the Orange can hold their own against the middle and bottom of the league, who knows where they will be at the beginning of March?
Syracuse will return to action on Saturday when they face Clemson in their second ACC game of the season. The Tigers stand at 5-3 on the season and should be a test to see how far the Orange have progressed.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Saturday night at the Dome.