Women’s basketball continues its dominance with victory over LIU
Women's basketball continues its dominance with victory over LIU
After starting the season 3-0, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team showed no sign of slowing down against the visiting Long Island University Sharks. The Orange picked up their fourth win 85-63.
“We just had to rest her [Dariauna Lewis],” Coach Legette-Jack said.
Lewis, a 6’1” forward who provides a spark of energy under the basket, has been creating extra opportunities and excelling in her role. As she likes to say, “I’m just here to rebound.”
The Orange got off to a slow start, scoring only six points in the first seven minutes of action, but an aggressive stretch from Dyaisha Fair to pass that mark and finish the quarter tied at 13 points apiece with LIU.
At the 3:44 mark in the first quarter, guard Cheyenne McEvans checked into the ballgame for her first action of the season. McEvans was cleared for her first practice on Wednesday. At practice, Coach Legette-Jack indicated that McEvans was nearing a return.
“If [the doctor] says tomorrow, we go tomorrow,” Coach Legette-Jack said.
At practice, McEvans shared her excitement to return to the floor for the first time since tearing her ACL early January.
“It feels good having my first day back, [to] bring some energy,” McEvans said. “Everyone is confident in me and confides in me, so I think I can be that voice for everybody and drag some energy out.”
Syracuse appeared to capture momentum early into the second period of play after jumping out to a 19-15 lead, but costly turnovers kept the Sharks in the mix.
With the clock winding down in the half, Fair kicked the ball out to forward Asia Strong who drained her second three-pointer of the evening. Syracuse led 36-27 heading into halftime with its largest lead yet of nine points.
Orange forward Saniaa Wilson capitalized on a layup after a dump-off pass from McEvans mid-way through the third quarter, giving the Orange their first double-digit advantage at 44-34.
Syracuse ramped up the pressure with a full-court press towards the end of the quarter, confusing the Sharks’ offense and creating turnovers. On the other end, LIU could not match Syracuse’s offense en route to a 21-6 run that spanned over six minutes long.
“We needed energy,” Coach Legette-Jack said. “It wasn’t for them, it was for us. Alaina’s [Rice] comfortable with that, Teisha’s [Hyman] comfortable with that. I’m not so comfortable with that, but I’m willing to try it. So we’re going to take chances.”
The Orange led 68-41 entering the final frame of play after outsourcing the Sharks by a whopping 18-point margin in the third quarter.
The Orange continued their winning ways to begin the fourth as guard Teisha Hyman nailed a three pointer. Syracuse’s lead eventually ballooned to as many as 31 points.
With four minutes remaining, McEvans was finally able to see the ball go through the hoop after picking off her second steal of the night and being able to put in the open layup for her first points of the season.
McEvans, the team’s defensive captain, finished with six points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
“It felt real good being out there with everybody, just seeing how everyone plays,” McEvans said.
She especially enjoyed playing in the press.
“It was fun to be up there,” McEvans said. “That’s where I get my energy from and can give my energy to the team, on the defensive side.”
With slightly under three minutes remaining, Coach Legette-Jack called timeout to substitute out Fair from the game, signaling comfort with its 25-point advantage.
“When our team as a whole was a little bit too high in the beginning, I showed the most composure and poise, and that’s what they look for in me,” Fair said about her leadership role.
“As Coach Jack says, I have the keys to the car, so if we’re out of control I have to hit the brakes a little bit and help the team recognize that we have to settle,” Fair said.
Fair led the way once more in scoring and passing with 22 points and seven assists. She scored efficiently, shooting 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and 8-of-15 overall.