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Syracuse women’s basketball: three takeaways from the 78-71 win versus Cornell

Cuse grits out a win

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

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team secured a hard-fought victory against the Cornell Big Red, winning 78-71. It was a challenging match for the Orange, as they overcame a 14-point deficit before ultimately emerging victorious against Cornell. With this win, Syracuse’s record now stands at an impressive 9-1, maintaining a perfect 6-0 record at home, while Cornell drops to 5-5. Here are the takeaways

Rough Start

The game didn’t start smoothly for Syracuse, with the team facing offensive struggles from the beginning. Alaina Rice, one of Syracuse’s key players, had an off night, shooting 1 for 9 from the floor and finishing with just 8 points. As a team the Orange shot 10-30 in the first half and were down 37-29 at the break.

However, the team overcame a 14-point deficit, staging a comeback in the fourth quarter fueled by a tenacious full-court pressure defense and the ability to get to the foul line. The Orange played without Izabel Varajao, and Sophie Burrows due to medical reasons and while it wasn’t a clean win, they showed resiliency in battling back in the final quarter.

Fair moves into elite company

Dyaisha Fair moved into the top 25 in NCAA Division I career scoring. Fair contributed significantly, finishing the game with 24 points, leading the team in steals with four, and showcasing her proficiency from the free-throw line, going 13 for 14 in the crucial fourth quarter. Her remarkable display extended beyond scoring, with Fair leading the team with 6 assists, 3 turnovers, and 5 rebounds while notably avoiding any personal fouls in 35 minutes of intense gameplay. Fair’s collegiate career now boasts an impressive 2,883 points, on the road to 3000.

Family Boost

With her family in attendance for the first time in her collegiate career, Georgia Woolley scored a season-high 23 points against Cornell. Woolley’s accuracy from behind the arc improved, going 4 for 7, and she contributed defensively with three steals. During that rough first half, Georgia’s offense kept the Orange within reach of Cornell and down the stretch she made some key baskets. Woolley is now just 19 points away from reaching the 1000 career points milestone.

Syracuse will face Saint Francis at home in an early morning matchup on Thursday. As the Orange prepare for the final non-conference game, the focus will undoubtedly be on getting off to a better start and finding more time for reserves. Looking beyond Saint Francis, Syracuse will face a formidable opponent in the ACC opener, going up against a ranked Notre Dame team.