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Syracuse women’s basketball: the Orange upset #15 Florida State 79-73 behind unthinkable 18-point comeback

Each win just gets more impressive than the last, right?

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

They did it... AGAIN.

Just a week after completing its largest comeback (19 points) in the Felisha Legette-Jack era, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (15-2, 5-1) yet again stormed back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the #15 Florida State Seminoles (14-5, 5-2) 79-73 at home and secured its second AP top 25 win of the season.

Syracuse trailed as much as 54-36 in Thursday’s game and still entered the fourth quarter with an eight-point deficit, but another day of heroics from Dyaisha Fair and some momentum-swinging players by the rest of the team powered the Orange to its fourth-straight win and third victory over a Q1 opponent.

The Orange outscored the Seminoles 25-11 in the fourth quarter to complete another insane comeback and extend the program’s home record to 11-0.

Fair finished with an impressive 31 points and a program-record nine threes in the six-point win, but the rest of the team also stepped up when it mattered most down the stretch. Seven players finished with at least six points — including some spark plug performances from Kennedi Perkins (9 points and 3 assists), Saniaa Wilson (6 points) and Sophie Burrows (6 points).

Four players finished in double-figures for the Seminoles, Ta’Niya Latson’s 22 points leading the way. Makayla Timpson and O’Mariah Gordon each scored 16 points while Sara Bejedi finished with 11 points.

FSU scored the first basket of the game, but a jumper from Wood and back-to-back baskets around the rim for Rice gave the Orange an early 6-2 lead — Syracuse’s largest lead for most of the game. Gordon responded for the Seminoles first with a three-point make followed by a layup, and FSU went up 17-11 with two minutes to go in the first quarter.

In an incredible stretch down the end of the quarter, Fair knocked down three-consecutive three-pointers to give Syracuse a 20-19 heading into the second quarter — the team’s last time holding a lead all game.

From here, the Seminoles’ offense simply caught fire at the right time. Fair continued her great performance on offense and finished with 17 points in the first half, but FSU’s all-around scoring attack put the Orange into a double-digit deficit for most of the second and third quarters.

FSU went on a 12-0 run to begin the second quarter and Syracuse entered halftime trailing 46-36. At one point, things really got out of hand to start the third quarter — the Seminoles scored eight straight points to go up by 18 points (54-36).

Then, as per usual with the Orange in the FLJ era, the team stormed back in the second half.

Syracuse’s defense showed signs of life in the third quarter, holding FSU to just 6/17 shooting from the field. To kick off the fourth quarter, Syracuse began on an 11-0 scoring run with Fair hitting her seventh three of the game to give the Orange their first lead since early in the first quarter.

A blowout soon turned into a nail-biter — the Orange went up by three points (67-64) with less than seven minutes to go and were up one point at the final media timeout. FSU retook a 69-67 lead but Fair responded with another three (this time from 35-feet out... no, not a typo) to put Syracuse back up again, 70-69, heading into the final three minutes of the game.

And somehow, Syracuse did it. The team made some last-minute defensive stops and the Orange escaped with another improbable win.

Which means: it’s time to #RankEm.