The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (18-12, 9-9) looks to make its first Women’s National Invitation Tournament Super 16 appearance in over a decade as the program takes on the Seton Hall Pirates (19-14, 10-10) Monday night in South Orange, New Jersey.
The Orange head into the 2023 WNIT second-round matchup versus Seton Hall coming off a dominant 84-56 bounce-back win Thursday night at the JMA Wireless Dome over Kent State. Syracuse’s game versus Seton Hall marks the first time both programs compete against each other since January 2013.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are hosting the Orange at home after an eight-point win over St. Joseph’s on Friday. Seton Hall finished sixth in the Big East, a conference that produced five NCAAW Tournament bids this season.
Syracuse recently got an 85-55 road win in its regular season finale against Pittsburgh, but the Orange are seeking their first road win over an opponent with a winning percentage of .500 or higher since the team beat Clemson 91-77 back on January 8.
: Watch the highlights from last night's WNIT First Round win over Kent State pic.twitter.com/d19dH4o3dA— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) March 16, 2023
The Orange are 25-28 all-time versus the Pirates, including a record of 14-17 on the road. However, Syracuse has won eight of its last 10 games overall versus Seton Hall.
Tip-off between the Orange and Pirates is at 7 p.m. EST in New Jersey, with the game available on the Big East Digital Network and FloHoops subscribers.
Question #1: Which defense prevails in this offensive shootout?
Both Syracuse and Seton Hall rank third in their respective conferences, although the Pirates rely way more on points in the paint, attacking the rim, and getting easy opportunities at the foul line. On the flip side, most of the Orange’s offense comes from hot three-point shooting, offensive rebounds, and fastbreak chances. Meanwhile, both defense rank towards basement levels of defense in their conferences.
Someone is going to need to be stopped on offense. We’ll have to see who.
Question #2: Who steps up for the Orange?
I’d expect Dariauna Lewis and Asia Strong, in particular, to have strong rebounding and free throw attempt numbers against a Seton Hall team that ranks fifth-worst in the Big East in rebounding with a -1.4 rebounding deficit to opponents per game. Against the Pirates, the extra possessions should be there even if the Orange’s perimeter game isn’t faring too well.
️ FOR THE CITY @Dariauna1 | @WNIT pic.twitter.com/YLNWQhl7zZ— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) March 16, 2023
Speaking of the perimeter, I’m particularly interested to see if Teisha Hyman builds off her 10-point, 5-assist performance versus Kent State. Hyman played the majority of her minutes at shooting guard in place of Alaina Rice, and she looked much more confident as a playmaker and two-point jump shooter.
Question #3: Can Syracuse withstand another tough road test?
The Orange have typically struggled and then some on the road (4-8 this season) compared to when the team plays at home (15-3 this season). That’s especially the case against tougher ACC programs like Notre Dame, Duke, Florida State, and others. Seton Hall won’t be an easy matchup, especially because the Pirates also rely on extra pressure, forcing turnovers, and making the initial action on offense even more difficult. Couple that with the road environment, and it’s clear this won’t be an easy one.
Now it’s your turn: what will you be watching for between Syracuse and Seton Hall?