In yet another come from behind win, the #23 Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (20-4, 10-3) rallied late in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to stun the #15 Louisville Cardinals (20-5, 9-3) 73-72 on Sunday afternoon.
Despite trailing for nearly 96% of the game, Syracuse outscored Louisville 21-15 in the fourth quarter to pull off the stunning win at home just 10 days after the Cardinals beat the Orange by 12 points. Dyaisha Fair, who finished with a game-high 29 points (on 9/24 shooting), 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, was fouled with under three seconds left. Louisville was called for a controversial intentional foul, but Fair calmly drained both free throws to complete the late comeback. It was the first time the Orange have beaten the Cardinals since the 2019-2020 season.
Outside of Fair, Georgia Woolley (14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists) was the only other Syracuse player to finish in double-figures. Alyssa Latham showcased her elite defense with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 6 blocks while Izabel Varejão finished with 7 points.
Eight different players scored for the Orange, including six with at least two field goal makes. Syracuse only shot 38% from the field and 6/23 from three, but held its own in the paint on offense while swatting 12 shots in total.
For Louisville, Nyla Harris finished with a team-high 22 points on 7/11 shooting with 11 rebounds. Kiki Jefferson ended with 13 points on 3/10 shooting with eight turnovers as the only other Cardinals player in double-figures. With that said, four players for Louisville finished with at least nine points and six with six points or more.
Woolley scored the Orange’s first basket as Louisville jumped out to a lead early in the first quarter. From there, Fair and Woolley combined 13 of the Orange’s 19 points in the quarter, but Louisville’s offense started off on fire.
The Cardinals began the game shooting 8/11 from the field and led by as much as eight points (18-10), ultimately finished the quarter with 65% shooting as the Orange trailed 19-13 to begin the second quarter.
Both Alaina Rice and Fair each hit a basket to cut Louisville’s lead down to three points. Despite the Cardinals’ strong start on offense, Louisville shot just 31% in the second quarter as Syracuse trailed 40-37 at halftime. Fair hit a three-pointer from the JMA Wireless logo at the buzzer to cut the Orange’s deficit down to three points.
At the start of the second half, Syracuse’s chances to win looked their bleakest all game — Louisville started off on a 7-0 in the third quarter and led by as much as 10 points, the Cardinals’ largest lead all game. A layup by Woolley halted the scoring run, while this three by Varejao put the Orange back to only down by five in the middle of the quarter:
In the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s defense shined late as the Cardinals only shot 4/14 overall and 1/5 from three. In a critical stretch in the final minute, Kennedi Perkins nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to 72-71 while Fair knocked down a pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds left to turn the one-point deficit into a one-point win.
The Orange secured their third-straight win and fourth of the season versus an AP top 25 opponent (Louisville, Florida State and Notre Dame x2). Syracuse also moved to 13-1 in the Dome this season and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Cardinals.
Just five games stand in the way between now and the ACC Tournament. Up next for Syracuse is a Thursday night matchup down in Miami versus the Hurricanes.