SU hoops fails to avenge ACC foe Louisville

SU hoops fails to avenge ACC foe Louisville

Several injuries to Orange starters proves troublesome in 67-79 loss.
Published: January 29, 2023
Alaina Rice, 25, pushes through Binghamton defense to attempt a basket Monday night during their match.
Alaina Rice #25 pushes through Binghamton defense to attempt a basket during a game on Nov. 14, 2022.

SU starters sustaining injuries and a 10-0 run for Louisville in the final quarter led to the Orange falling to ACC foe Louisville 67-79 on Sunday at the JMA Wireless Dome. 

After being defeated by the Cardinals 77-86 on December 29, 2022, Syracuse was looking for revenge. But after a back-and-forth for most of the game, the Orange just couldn’t adjust and finish.

Injuries quickly struck Syracuse’s lineup in the first quarter. 

In the first three minutes of play, star guard Dyaisha Fair hobbled off the court with what appeared to be a left foot/ankle injury. Alaina Rice joined Fair on the bench about five minutes later after colliding with a Louisville player. 

Starter Teisha Hyman played just five minutes in the first quarter, sitting out the rest of the game due to a lower leg injury, according to SU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.

Forward Asia Strong was on the sideline since the beginning of warmups, sporting street clothes and a knee brace.  

“It was like almost a bowling alley out there,” Legette-Jack said. “When one of my players went down, another player went down and another player went down.”

But thankfully for the Orange, the bench produced enough until both Fair and Rice re-entered the game, Fair in the second and Rice in the third. 

Fair scored 19 total points and four assists despite her short stint on the bench.

Freshman guard Kennedi Perkins stepped up to the challenge and in return recorded her most minutes on the court this season with 24. She also recorded a season-high in points with seven in addition to two rebounds.

“(Kennedi Perkins) was the only guard that really came in and owned her power,” Legette-Jack said.

Syracuse led the Cardinals going into halftime 36-34 with the help of back-to-back 3-pointers from Georgia Woolley in the last two and half minutes. Woolley ended the game leading the team with 20 points and five steals, but gave up eight turnovers. 

SU’s defense limited Cardinals guard Hailey Van Lith, who’s number two in ACC scoring, to just three points in the first half. Van Lith picked up an And-1 in the first quarter and was silenced for the rest of the half.

But, Louisville fast breaks paired with points off SU turnovers made the difference in the game. The Cardinals totaled 35 fast break points and 27 points off Syracuse turnovers. 

“You can’t give the ball to the team that doesn’t have the same shirt you have on. It’s simple,” Legette-Jack said. “You hold onto that ball until that person that has your shirt on is available.”

In under two minutes in the third quarter, Woolley tied it up 54 a piece with a shot above the arc. Louisville responded and ended the quarter with a seven point lead.

A 10-0 run for the Cardinals in the final quarter gave Louisville their biggest lead of the game, 75-56. Syracuse tried to come back, but a win was just too far out of reach. 

Syracuse will hit the road on Thursday to face No. 12 Virginia Tech (16-4) at 7 p.m.

“(Louisville) was a better team today, but they weren’t astronomically better than us,” Legette-Jack said. “We helped them be better than us.”