clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse women’s basketball: what to watch for versus Cornell

Can the dominance over a familiar in-state rival continue?

NCAA Womens Basketball: ACC/SEC Challenge-Alabama at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the fall semester coming to a close, the work continues for the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (8-1) who will look to extend its five-game winning streak on Monday night against the Cornell Big Red (5-4).

Syracuse recently overcame a slow start and finished business on the road in an 82-62 win versus the Ohio Bobcats, giving the Orange their first road win of the season and pushing the program further into postseason contention. The Orange will look to move to 6-0 in the JMA Wireless Dome this season and extend the program’s 24-game home win streak versus non-conference opponents.

Cornell started the season slow but has since won three straight games over Binghamton, Bucknell and St. Bonaventure. The Big Red finished 10-17 last year, which included a 3-10 record in the Ivy League.

Tip-off between Syracuse and Cornell is at 7 p.m. EST in the Dome. The game will also be available to stream on ACC Network+.

Here’s what to watch for:

Balance on offense

The dominant storyline from Syracuse’s win over Ohio was the distributin in offense throughout the team. Dyaisha Fair scored a team-high 21 points and Georgia Woolley chipped in 13 points in the win to help lead the way, but the Orange also got notable performances from forwards Saniaa Wilson and Alyssa Latham.

Wilson finished the game with a career-high 18 points on 5/5 shooting, while Latham ended with 14 points to round things out.

For the second consecutive season, Felisha Legette-Jack has built the Orange into one of the best offenses in the country. Unlike last year, Legette-Jack doesn’t need to rely as much on Fair shouldering the load. Let’s see if the trend continues moving forward for the Orange.

Ignore what history says

Syracuse will pretty much be the clear favorite in this game, especially since the program has not lost to Cornell in two decades (see more down below). With that said, Big Red coach Dayna Smith is in her 22nd season at the helm of the program. The best player in Cornell’s rotation are mainly upperclassman. Overall, while this isn’t an amazing team, it does have experience.

The Orange have recently had to use scoring runs in the second half to overcome slow starts in the last few games. Hopefully, Syracuse will be able to be faster from the jump and build up a scoring margin that will be too much for Cornell to overcome.

Stop the 1-2 combo

Cornell’s offense shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the Orange to handle — the Big Red has scored 57 points per game in its last three games (all against non-Power Five in-state competition). Cornell also sits at 233rd in NET, roughly 200 spots below the Orange.

Offensively, the main source of offense for the Big Red includes the duo of Kaya Ingram (10.7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game) and Rachel Kaus (10.2 and 3.4 rebounds per game). Every other player for Cornell is averaging 9.2 points per game or fewer. Unless someone not named Ingram or Kaus catches fire out of nowhere, Syracuse should be looking just fine. Regardless, we’ll get a really good look at the Orange’s defensive consistency — the ultimate question facing the team as ACC play approaches.

Syracuse versus Cornell preview by the numbers

All-time: Syracuse is 17-3 all-time versus Cornell dating back to 1973. The Orange lost in their first two matchups versus the Big Red, but are 17-1 in the series since the 1975-1976 season (including 12-0 at home).

Last matchup: Syracuse last played Cornell in December 2021, when the Orange defeated the Big Red 88-55 in the Dome. Cornell last beat Syracuse in the 2003-2004 season.

Win/loss implications: A victory extends Syracuse’s win streak to six games and keeps all the momentum going, while a loss would halt a promising start for the Orange and give the program its first loss against Cornell in 20 years.

Prediction: History and the advantage in talent for the Orange make Cornell a big-time underdog. Especially at home, it’s hard to see Syracuse fail to get the job done. The Orange will win 80-58 at home.

Syracuse vs. Cornell Team Stats

Statistical Categories Syracuse Cornell
Statistical Categories Syracuse Cornell
PPG 81 45
Opponent PPG 59.9 62.2
Margin of Victory plus-21.1 minus-6.2
FG% 46% 40%
Defensive FG% 37% 40%
3FG% 34% 24%
Defensive 3FG% 31% 28%
FT% 74% 71%
RPG 44.7 33.9
APG 14.2 9.9
T/O 14.2 19.1
A/T ratio 1 0.5
SPG 9 6.9
BPG 5.3 1.4