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New Year, New Georgia Woolley in Syracuse women's basketball 89-71 win over Pittsburgh

Georgia Woolley (white #5) shoots over a Pitt defender.
(C) 2023 Michael Gross
Georgia Woolley strings up a three-point shot in the second quarter.

Sophomore guard Georgia Woolley poured in 23 points to lead Syracuse women's basketball to a win over Pitt. WAER's Luke Schwartz details SU's first win of the new year.

Georgia Woolley must really like the number 23.

She’s scored that amount in back-to-back games to start 2023.

The sophomore guard from Australia is doing it on both sides of the floor. Woolley wore a bright smile into the postgame press conference as she clutched tightly to the hard hat she had been awarded for her defensive performance.

She totaled five steals along with seven rebounds and shot 9-16 from the field, adding three three-point shots to the mix. Minor injuries and adjusting to a new team may have been the reason for Woolley’s slow start, but she is crushing right now, and that is why the Orange have looked impressive this new year.

Dyaisha Fair recorded her 15th straight game of scoring in double digits. The senior guard looked half asleep going into the break with just two points to her name, but a pep talk in the locker room from head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and her teammates fired her up.

Fair was in rhythm and had her usual confidence ripe on her face. She ended the night with 24 points knocking down four deep shots where she started 0-5 to start the game.

Syracuse has been terrific as a team in the third quarter since the new year started on Sunday. The Orange have outscored their opponents 47-16 in those 10 minutes. Not to mention causing turnovers and forcing mistakes on the team in front of them.

The Orange had fans a little worried going into halftime when the home team trailed 39-33 at the break. It didn’t feel it was going to look that way when Syracuse was up 31-20 with 5:29 remaining in the second quarter. But a 19-2 run from the Panthers where Avery Strickland knocked down two threes in that quarter to make the 7-7 Pittsburgh Panthers look quite impressive.

Luckily for the Orange, the third quarter was the turning point this team needed. Syracuse had it all tied up 45-45 from a Dyaisha Fair triple and then another tie at 48-48 from a Georgia Woolley three.

Syracuse pulled away with a 7-0 run capped off by a Kyra Wood outback in the third to go up 55-48. After that, The Orange never looked back and won their 10th game at home this season.

Kyra Wood smiles on the baseline before an inbounds pass.
(C) 2023 Michael Gross
Kyra Wood smiles on the baseline before an inbounds pass.

Syracuse is now 10-1 at home this season and with this being their 11th win total, it ties the same amount of total wins for the program from a season ago.

Syracuse shot 51.5 percent from the field and 32 percent from three. Coach Legette-Jack smiled about the free throw percentage at 100 percent, going 9-9 at the charity stripe.

Dariauna Lewis finished the game with 12 points and four blocks, and Kyra Wood put up nine points and three blocks. The Orange forced 19 turnovers and held Pittsburgh to shoot just 41 percent from the floor.

Georgia Woolley’s mentality for this game felt like it transcended onto her teammates as well.

“Just compete. Go after everything and keep that same mindset and get good results,” Woolley said.

Dariauna Lewis talked about Dyaisha Fair’s awakening in the second half and what it took for her to have that type of performance.

“Sometimes the person who always has the most energy on offense needs other people to pour into them too. She’s been pouring into us a lot. I just talked to her and try to make her feel like we do care and it’s bigger than basketball,” Lewis said.

Coach Felisha Legette-Jack touched on tying last season's record.

“That’s never the goal. That’s comparing yourself to someone else. We’re here to learn lessons and tell our stories our way. In order to do that we have to keep our eyes on the prize… our time, our story, our way,” Legette-Jack said.

Syracuse will hit the road this weekend to take on another conference foe, the Clemson Tigers. Game time is set for Sunday, January 8th, at 2:00 PM.