Women’s Basketball falls to top-ranked Oregon at home

Women's Basketball falls to top-ranked Oregon at home

Redshirt Junior Kiara Lewis scored a career-high 23 points including 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, but Syracuse struggled in the second half and finished 10-of-35 from beyond the arc as a team.
Published: November 27, 2019
Syracuse guard Kiara Lewis prepares to take a shot. Lewis scored 17 points in their victory 75-53 against Albany.
In this File Photo from November 17, 2019, guard Kiara Lewis prepares to take a shot.

The Orange (3-1) came out of the gates with defensive aggression and held Oregon (4-0) to 26 percent shooting and forced seven turnovers in the first half. Sabrina Ionescu, 2019 Wooden NCAA player of the year, and Ducks leading scorer Ruthy Hebard (23PPG) were both scoreless at the half.

“They battled us,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said. “I love coach Q and I love the way he coaches his team.”

Lewis sparked a Syracuse run with three 3-pointers to put the Orange up, 24-15, to open up the second quarter.

But the Ducks had an answer with an 8-1 run of their own to head into the locker room with the lead, 31-30.

The difference-maker proved to be the second-half adjustments and third-quarter performance by Oregon, outscoring Syracuse 31-16. 5 of 10 from beyond the arc and 16 second-chance points, the Ducks built their breathing room.

“We came out in the third quarter and didn’t execute defensively,” coach Hillsman said. “We gave up 31 points in the first half and 31 points in the third quarter, you can’t do that against the No. 1 team in the country.”

Ionescu paced herself on 36 minutes and flirted with a triple-double, 19 points and seven rebounds with six assists. Satuo Sabally scored 23 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for Oregon. Erin Boley had 11 of her 19 points in the second half.

The Ducks won the rebound battle, 47-36, and fought for 18 second-chance points.

“We knew that they had more than just Sabrina, they aren’t the No. 1 team in the country because of just one player,” said Lewis.

Redshirt sophomore Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi added a double-double performance for Syracuse, with 16 points and 10 boards.

“It’s great because this is what we’ll see night in and night out when we get to conference play,” Hillsman remarked on the importance of playing a high-caliber team this early in the season. “We don’t play with a false sense of reality.”

Up next, the Orange hit the court against Houston on Thursday at the Greater Victoria Invitational for an 8 p.m tip.