Syracuse downs No. 5 Louisville for Coach Q’s 300th career victory
Syracuse downs No. 5 Louisville
Syracuse Women’s basketball hoped that the sequel was better than the prequel against Louisville after suffering a 4-point loss to the Cardinals earlier this season. SU did just that, handing fifth-ranked Louisville their third loss of the season, 59-51.
From the jump, SU utilized their plethora of size down low and applied immense pressure on the defensive end. In the first quarter alone, the ‘Cuse forced seven turnovers and scored 12 of their 15 points inside the arc. Louisville’s Dana Evans, the top three-point shooter and second-leading scorer in the ACC, was held scoreless.
Much of the same ensued nearing the halftime break. Syracuse held Louisville to eight points in the second quarter, which is unorthodox for a team that averages 75 points a game, the second-most in the ACC. Along with the Orange’s suffocating zone defense, SU’s offense shined behind the stellar play of Kiara Lewis. After laying in egg in the first quarter, she drained two triples en route to 10 points for the half.
At the half, SU held two of Louisville’s strengths in check. This season, the Cardinals have shot an ACC-leading 46% clip from the field while relying heavily on Evans, who scores 19 a game. Syracuse limited Louisville to 30% shooting from the field and Dana Evans to a measly 5 at the half.
Sitting at 10-1 when leading at the halftime break and with a 10-point advantage, Syracuse followed the lead of their star point guard Kiara Lewis. Her 7-0 individual run to end the third quarter included a heroic heave from the top of the key that gave SU all the momentum down the stretch. She finished with a game-high 24.
A nine-point lead blossomed to as many as 14 in the fourth behind Amaya Finklea’s back-to-back post fades. Gabrielle Cooper also contributed a dagger from deep. The Orange ended their four-game losing skid to the Cardinals and held Louisville under 60 points for the first time this season.
This victory lies in the history books as well as Head Coach Quentin Hillsman notched his 300th career win at the helm of Syracuse women’s basketball.
Syracuse (12-11, 6-6) hits the road for another ACC matchup before two straight in the Dome, this time in Chapel Hill, against North Carolina (16-7, 7-5) on Thursday.