Orange roll Raiders in blowout win to start season 2-0
Syracuse women’s basketball secured its second win of the season on Thursday night, taking down Colgate 72-58. WAER’s Michael Gross details SU’s second win of the season.
Senior Alaina Rice was the leading scorer for the Orange, canning 6 of 7 shots, including two three-pointers, for 16 points. In 29 games last year, the Florida native averaged just over four points per contest. But with 10 new faces on this year’s roster, Rice may have been able to secure not only more playing time but true scoring opportunities as the early season progresses.
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack praised Rice for her leadership in tonight’s effort.
“She deserved it, she earned it,” Legette-Jack said. “All preseason long, she was the young lady that finished in the top three, so this is her time to shine, and we are not going to let her hide anymore.”
Syracuse controlled most of the tempo through the first quarter, allowing just two field goals and six total points. That was one of two quarters where Colgate was held to less than 10 points.
To show just how dominant the Orange were on Thursday night, they were able to hold the Raiders scoreless for an eight-minute period in the first half. During that stretch, Syracuse scored 14 straight points. Colgate would then go on to make five of their next five field goal attempts to cut the lead down to 11 points early in the second quarter.
That burst of scoring was a testament to senior Jenna Paul, who accounted for 18 of Colgate’s 58 points tonight, tying her career high. The 5’10 guard made just eight threes in each of her first two seasons with the Raiders but connected on six of them against the Orange, leading the charge for Colgate.
The second quarter had a bit of a different complexion, but the Orange still controlled the tempo. Colgate flipped a switch and kept up with coach Legette-Jack’s fast style of play but was still trailing by 16 at the half. Syracuse would balloon their lead out to 30 points during the fourth quarter, and by that point, it was purely academic.
The Orange made just three of 14 shots from distance, emphasizing their three-point struggles in this young season. Syracuse was four of 21 against Stony Brook and five of 27 against LeMoyne College in the exhibition. Coach Legette-Jack addressed the struggles but assured that the team is continuing to make adjustments in this early season.
“It’s hard to adjust right now. I think with the more we practice in the dome, the better we are going to be. It is almost like we are on a road game. We don’t practice here all the time, but we have practiced here more than we have ever done before, so it can’t be an excuse.”
While the three-point game was almost ineffective tonight, the Orange won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Raiders 49 to 31. Alabama A&M transfer Dariauna Lewis notched her second double-double of the season, gathering 10 rebounds and along with 12 points.
“I just can’t stop rebounding. If nothing is going well, I know I’m going to rebound. It wasn’t my night, that is fine [because] that is what I have shooters for. I am there on the glass every time. I know that if I keep working hard to rebound, I know I can make my guards look good, and I can get easy dump-off points.”
With 26 boards in two games, Lewis has quickly placed herself high atop the list of the best rebounders in the country.
The Orange host Binghamton University on Mon., November 14, for Empire State Night at the JMA Wireless Dome and will look to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2020.