Syracuse snaps six-game losing streak, downs Pittsburgh 80-72

'Cuse women's hoops take down Pittsburgh 80-72

All five starters reach double figures in the Orange's win on Sunday.
Published: January 30, 2022
Najé Murray (10) raises her hands around here team after the final buzzer on Saturday in SU's win versus UMBC.
Syracuse women's basketball (9-10, 2-7 ACC) snapped its six-game losing streak at the Dome on Sunday afternoon.

The Syracuse women’s basketball team picked up their first win of 2022, defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers 80-72. The Orange had balanced scoring attack with all five starters in double figures. The last time that happened coincided with the Orange’s last win all the way back on December 18th versus UMBC. Christianna Carr had a team-high 19 points, tying her season high.

“Every game I haven’t gotten my double digits we haven’t won,” Najé Murray said. “That is not even about scoring, it’s about doing what I need to do.”

It was a back and forth start, as Pittsburgh got out to an early start taking a 25-20 lead after the first quarter. Syracuse fought back in the second, but Alaysia Styles picked up a technical foul and her second personal foul of the half, forcing her to sit for extended time.  Murray said she had a direct conversation with Styles right after she picked up the technical.

“Alaysia is a fifth year senior who has to be on the floor for us,” Murray said. “When she is not on the floor it is very, very, very detrimental to us. So, I was frustrated that she had to go and sit on the bench for the rest of the quarter.”

Syracuse has struggled to rebound all season long, losing the rebounding margin by an average of six a game. This afternoon the Panthers dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Orange by 21. However, Syracuse was able to hold Pittsburgh to just two made three pointers all game as the Panthers shot 2-21 from deep. The Syracuse defense also forced 23 turnovers, allowing them score in transition.

“We did a really good job of pushing the ball,” acting head coach Vonn Read said. “31 fast break points. That was an emphasis for us, to be able to rebound and run.

“I thought we did a good job of spacing out on the perimeter,” Read added. “We were mainly tracking two players and they did a really good job on those two players.”

Syracuse stretched its lead to 13 with 3:41 to go in the third quarter, forcing a Panthers timeout. Pittsburgh cut the lead down to three in the beginning of the fourth quarter. But Chrislyn Carr knocked down back to back threes, and the Orange picked up their second ACC victory of the season.

“We did a better job on defense today,” Carr said. “We were committed to getting stops. We knew we wanted this game more and we knew we needed to lock down and defend.”

Syracuse will now go on the road to take on Miami (FL) on Thursday. The Orange are still looking for their first road win of the season. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.