From one statement win to another. After defeating Kent State 84-56 in round one of the 2023 Women’s National Invitation Tournament, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (20-12, 9-9) secured an impressive road victory with a 72-54 win over the Seton Hall Pirates. With the win, the Orange advance to the WNIT Super 16 for the first time since 2011-2012.
Syracuse allowed just 13 (!!!) points in the first half to Seton Hall, forcing a Pirates offense that is 58th in the country in scoring offense to just 21% shooting in the first 20 minutes of game time.
This includes Seton Hall’s three-point shooting, as the Pirates shot just 2/19 in the game after ranking toward the top in the Big East this season. Only one player for the Pirates, senior Lauren Park-Lane, scored in double-digits (23 points on 11/22 shooting) as the rest of the Seton Hall squad combined to shoot just 14/43 overall.
The defense was so good, Coach Legette-Jack danced her way into the Orange locker room following the win.
March 21, 2023
Dyaisha Fair and Georgia Woolley led the Syracuse offense with Fair (24 points on 9/17 shooting) and Woolley (19 points on 8/17 shooting) providing the Orange with 22 of their 26 second-quarter points. The duo allowed Syracuse to build enough of a cushion late in the first half to get the victory, even as Seton Hall clawed their way back in the third quarter.
Teisha Hyman showed promise coming off the bench with another 10-point, 5-assist performance against Seton Hall, while Dariauna Lewis finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks in another impressive defensive and hustle-worthy performance.
Neither team was able to get off to a strong start in the first quarter. The Orange led 9-7 at the end of the first quarter, but an 18-2 scoring run powered Syracuse into a 26-6 points advantage in the second quarter, allowing the Orange to take a 35-15 halftime lead.
Stretch out here trying to extend her college career by another 40 minutes.— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) March 21, 2023
Flo Hoops pic.twitter.com/T9GcYhhF7l
Give credit to Seton Hall for making the game interesting toward the end. The Pirates outscored the Orange 25-16 in the third quarter, cutting the Orange’s 20-point halftime lead down to 11 (51-40) at the start of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Seton Hall, that was as close as they would get.
The Orange jumped out of the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to rebuild its massive double-digit lead, ultimately holding out until the end as Syracuse’s strong defensive performance in the first half coupled with well-timed scoring outbursts handed Syracuse its first postseason road win since the first round of the 2021 NCAAW Tournament against South Dakota State.
Syracuse is back on the road and heading to New York City to take on Columbia University in the Super 16 Friday night. Columbia is coming off back-to-back wins against Farleigh Dickinson and Fordham setting up another in-state battle in New York. The winner will take on the winner of Rhode Island versus Harvard in the Great 8.
Now it’s your turn: what did you notice from the Orange’s impressive road victory against Seton Hall? Can the dream WNIT run continue for Syracuse?