Syracuse basketball tops Wagner with dominant play from post players

Syracuse basketball tops Wagner with dominant play from post players

Dariauna Lewis leads SU to 83-53 win.
Published: December 11, 2022
Syracuse's Asia Strong drives to the basket versus Wagner on December 11, 2022.
SU's Asia Strong (15) looks towards the basket past the Wagner defense in Syracuse's win on Sunday afternoon.

After a convincing win against Coppin State on Thursday, the Syracuse women’s basketball team played host to the Wagner Seahawks on Sunday afternoon at the JMA Wireless Dome in their last matchup before inter-conference ACC play. SU clinched the victory against the Seahawks 83-53.

Syracuse entered the contest with a 7-2 record while Wagner stood at 4-4. 

The Orange jumped out to an 8-0 advantage out of the gate. The Seahawks responded, but Syracuse stretched their lead to double digits, 21-10, with a layup from forward Asia Strong

Dariauna Lewis’ continued dominance on the offensive rebounds extended the Orange lead to 15 points. The score stood at 25-10, and forced a timeout call from Wagner’s head coach Terrell Coburn. Syracuse led by the same amount at the end of the first quarter, 27-12. 

The game stabilized in the next period as Wagner held the game within the same range of 14 points, but much like in the first quarter was able to stamp their impact in the closing minutes of the frame. SU led 45-23 at halftime. 

But still, the Seahawks held strong and outscored Syracuse, trimming the lead to 21 points with 10 minutes remaining, but never threatened to gain control of the game. 

“I didn’t like how we started the first five minutes of the game, and I certainly didn’t like how we played in the third quarter,” Syracuse coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. 

Syracuse's Teisha Hymen drives to the basket versus Wagner on December 11, 2022.

Syracuse's Teisha Hyman tries to reach over a Wagner defender to shoot a basket on Dec. 11, 2022.

Syracuse's Cheyenne Evans (12) rises over a group of Syracuse and Wagner players in SU's win on December 11, 2022.

Syracuse and Wagner players all jump to try to grab a rebound during a game on Dec. 11, 2022.

Coach Legette-Jack pulled her starters with 8:17 remaining, leading 63-40. Wagner’s backups mounted an 8-1 run, but Syracuse did not waver and finished the game outscoring the Seahawks 17-5 for a 30-point victory, 83-53. 

Syracuse has now won their past seven games at home.

Lewis scored a team-high 13 points while pulling in 12 rebounds, evenly split in offensive and defensive. Coach Legette-Jack compared Lewis to a “female Dennis Rodman.” 

“I was thinking like Coach Jack,” Lewis said. “I was moving my feet. She’s always saying ‘keep moving your feet…hopping around, hopping around.’ I was just hopping around out there, and I think I was really just trying to be a good teammate.” 

Coach Legette-Jack identifies with her post players, being one herself in her playing days.

“I tell our guards, I don’t know how I keep getting these top five kids in the country in scoring,” she joked. “I just [tell them] put the ball up and we’ll [do] the rest of the work.” 

Syracuse hauled in 58 rebounds to Wagner’s 20, with 18 offensive rebounds that converted into 20 second-chance points.

Coach Legette-Jack said she looks forward to having games where the team finishes with 30 or 40 second-chance points later in the season. 

“This is where my passion is,” Coach Legette-Jack said. “That paint is an ocean for us [post players].”

“In order for us to have great guards, our bigs have got to do the work that nobody sees. It’s called working in the dark. And when the lights come on, they look at the box score and see here’s four kids that got 10 rebounds. Yeah, that’s what we do. We just take our lunch box and go home,” Coach Legette-Jack said. 

Next up for the Syracuse women’s basketball team will be a home contest against Wake Forest next Sunday. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. and will air on ACC Network. 

With a week off, Jack is letting her players take a few days to focus on final exams this week while she recruits for next season.

“We’re not going to focus on ACC play until Thursday or Friday,” Coach Legette-Jack said.

The reflection of the floor In Syracuse's win over Wagner on December 11, 2022.
The reflection of the floor on a free throw in Syracuse's win over Wagner on Sunday.