Orange battle back to beat Virginia Tech in final seconds

SU battles back to beat Hokies in final seconds

While Kiara Lewis had 19 points, it's the SU guard's layup in the final seconds that makes the difference.
Published: January 30, 2020
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Syracuse guard Kiara Lewis screams after scoring a layup that put them ahead of Virginia Tech with only 5 seconds left in the game.

Outmatched for more than three quarters, Syracuse women’s basketball squad turned it on in the final 10 minutes Thursday to outscore Virginia Tech 22-9 and eke out a 67-65 ACC win in the Carrier Dome.

The Orange trailed by nine at the halftime break. After a low-scoring first quarter and a high-scoring second, both of which they were outscored in, the chances of getting stops against a deep Virginia Tech team seemed slim. And especially after the third quarter, in which the Hokies outscored the Orange yet again by tallying 20 points in the quarter.

Then came the fourth quarter. The Orange only trailed by 11 and had just barely been outdone by Elizabeth Kitley and Virginia Tech in the three prior quarters. In the fourth, the Hokies scored just nine points; an outstanding defensive effort given the way Virginia Tech had scored before.

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Syracuse guard Kiara Lewis goes up for a layup during Thursday’s game. Lewis contributed 19 points in their 67-65 victory over the Hokies.

The Orange were incredibly active on defense all night. They’d simply run into the well-balanced, deep team that Virginia Tech is. Eight players provided quality minutes (and points) to the Hokies’ effort tonight.

Syracuse forward Digna Strautmane fights for the ball
Syracuse forward Digna Strautmane fights for the ball against Virginia Tech guards Aisha Sheppard (left) and Dana Mabrey during the game.

The Orange trailed by nine with four minutes to go in the last quarter of the contest. An Emily Engstler three-pointer and an Amaya Finklea-Guity basket immediately cut that deficit to four. Before the Hokies knew it, their lead had diminished. And the Orange were rolling at the perfect time.

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Tied at 65 with a minute to go, Lydia Rivers proceeded to miss an opportunity to put her Hokies up two. That opportunity would be the last good one Virginia Tech would encounter throughout the game.

With five seconds to go, Kiara Lewis scored to give the Orange its first lead of the game — and just enough to hold on for an ACC win.

The Orange now travel to Charlottesville to take on Virginia at 2 p.m. Sunday.