Women’s Basketball dominates UMBC to end a three-game losing streak

Women’s Basketball dominates UMBC to end a three-game losing streak

A big second half and strong defensive effort paved the way for the Orange as five players scored at least 12 points to lead Syracuse to an 82-48 victory.
Published: December 8, 2019
Kiara Lewis drives to the hoop early in the first quarter.
Kiara Lewis drives to the hoop early in the first quarter.

Five players scored in double digits for the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team as they defeated the UMBC Retrievers 82-48 on Sunday. The game was tightly contested throughout the first quarter before Syracuse’s full team effort hit its stride. Their ability to spread the ball around on the offensive end and force stops on the defensive end led to a big win for Syracuse, as they stopped a three-game losing streak.

“It’s good to be home,” said Coach Quentin Hillsman, referring to the team’s return to Syracuse following trips to British Columbia and Michigan.

From the opening tip, the Orange came out with a head of steam. Digna Strautemane hit a three to kickstart the scoring, giving way to an overwhelming defensive start. Early full-court pressing and half-court double teams helped to create offense for Syracuse by forcing turnovers and causing distress for UMBC. The loss for the Retrievers marked their sixth straight, as they fall to 2-7 on the season.

Freshman Teisha Hyman provided a spark off the bench, taking several turnovers the length of the court and scoring in transition. She finished the first quarter with 5 points, but it was a pair of airballs that kept her mindset on contributing to the team the rest of the way.

“I was just upset that I made those two airballs, so I was trying to do anything to make up for it,” she said. It’s safe to say she did just that, as Hyman finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in just 15 minutes of action.

Orange Womens Basketball
Head coach Quentin Hillsman's Orange only two turnovers in the second half in their game vs. UMBC Sunday afternoon.

Strautemane kept up the hot shooting throughout the first half, shooting 4 of 8 from deep and contributing 14 total points to the Orange’s 38-27 halftime lead. By the end of the game, she had connected on five three-pointers and led the team in scoring with 17. The second half burst by the Orange is something they hope to see more often in the first half of upcoming games.

“That’s something we have to change, actually,” she said. “From starting slow…for better teams, we never start right away in, like the intensity that we have. So, I think we have to improve with that.”

Orange Tip Off
The Syracuse Orange Women's Basketball team wins the tip-off to start the game vs. UMBC Sunday Afternoon.

Syracuse’s offensive strategy was on display early and often in addition to the transition scoring. With the ball on their side, the Orange moved the ball in and out, working it to Amaya Finklea-Guity down in the post and kicking it out for threes. Finklea-Guity was just too much of a presence down low for the UMBC defense, finishing with 13 points and 7 rebounds on 6 of 8 shooting from the field.

The third quarter was a big one for the Orange, as they outscored UMBC by 14 points and blew the game wide open. The large lead didn’t stop the defensive pressure from Syracuse, as they continued to press and play aggressive defense until the final buzzer.

The Orange will get some time off before traveling to Winter Park, Fla., where they will play in the Florida Sunshine Classic against Michigan State and West Virginia on Dec. 20 and 22, respectively.