With the loss, Syracuse falls to 11-13 overall and 4-10 in the ACC and still hasn’t recorded a win over any of teams above it in the conference standings.
Florida State’s men’s basketball program is well-known for having tall players, but the women also had quite a lot of size. The Seminoles used seven different players that were taller than 6-foot. Syracuse could only counter with Alaysia Styles and Christianna Carr.
FSU’s depth and height was not the ideal matchup for the Orange, who have neither a strong bench nor a bunch of tall trees in the middle. The Seminoles won the rebounding margin 48-38, outscored Syracuse 44-30 in the paint, and had an 18-4 advantage in bench points.
The Orange shot 35 percent from the field and 7-of-23 from three. Usually, Syracuse’s offense is not the problem, but this is the third consecutive contest where the Orange struggled from the field. The defense did what it could against a bigger team, but the offense couldn’t step up against FSU’s length.
Coming off a 31-point game on Sunday, Teisha Hyman was sure to be at the center of Florida State’s scouting report. Hyman struggled all night long, finishing with 10 points on 5-of-19 shooting. She did grab a career-high 13 rebounds to secure a double-double but also turned it over seven times.
Chrislyn Carr had a team-high 20 for the Orange, and Naje Murray battled through more shooting struggles to add 14.
Morgan Jones led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds in the winning performance. Valencia Myers added a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
The Seminoles rode a hot-shooting start to a 16-7 a little over six minutes in. Syracuse eventually found its footing using an 8-0 run to tie the game at 18 late in the first quarter. Styles got tangled up with FSU’s Erin Howard in the final minute of the first stanza, with each player earning a technical foul.
The Orange grabbed their first lead of the game early in the second quarter as Christianna Carr drained a three to make it 21-20. The Orange hit more threes in the first half (four) than they did for the entire game at Pitt on Sunday. Both teams went scoreless for lengthy spurts in the second quarter, but FSU closed with two scores in the final minute to take a 32-28 lead into the halftime break.
Chrislyn Carr drained a three right out of the break to make it a one-point game, but the Seminoles, thanks in no small part to their size, began to build their lead again. A three from Bianca Jacobs made it a 43-33 game with 5:42 left in the third.
The Orange had a hard time getting good looks to fall, only shooting 27 percent from the field in the third quarter. FSU could have been up more, but its consistent inside approach gave the Seminoles a 50-39 lead heading into the final ten minutes.
The Seminoles got their lead up to 53-39 with a layup from Jones with 8:38 left. Syracuse didn’t let FSU extend the lead, but it also couldn’t hit the shots to make a real game of it.
Murray hit a three to make it 61-54 with 3:52 left, but a three-point play from Jones at the other end made it a 10-point game once again. The Orange couldn’t get the defensive rebounds and stops they needed to threaten the visiting team.
Syracuse returns to action in two short days when it hosts No. 23 Virginia Tech, one of the six ranked ACC teams in this week’s AP Top 25. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.