Sweet, sweet victory on Senior Sunday For Syracuse women's basketball
Five Syracuse seniors got a last taste of winning on the floors they have played on all season long. Luke Schwartz explains how from the exciting highs to the emotional tears, it was a game and memory this team will never forget.
For five seniors, the last memory they will ever have playing inside the Dome will be an impressive win against Miami, 77-68.
20 years from now, Ava Irvin, Asia Strong, Alaina Rice, Dariauna Lewis and Dyraisha Fair will look back and smile at this one for giving it everything they had for a statement victory and a moment no one can take away from them.
Every player who stepped onto the hardwood floor in this matchup played their best basketball of the season as a collective group. Success was found through unity.
The Orange had five players reach double digits in scoring and shot the ball extremely well. 47 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. Syracuse racked up nine steals and three blocks while forcing 15 turnovers against the Hurricanes. Miami did not find any rhythm in the first half, and what appeared to be a surmountable comeback in the third quarter was triumphantly squashed in the fourth by the Orange.
Syracuse’s largest lead was 14, but Miami closed the gap to just six late in the third and had it close at the start of the fourth, but Syracuse learned their lesson from this entire season which is knowing you win games in the final 10 minutes, and they converted.
Head coach of the Orange, Felisha Legette-Jack, was ecstatic during her postgame press conference. “We did not lose the fourth quarter,” she exclaimed as her hands shot into the air with a bright facial expression to contribute to her tone of voice.
Georgia Woolley and Dyaisha Fair had a usual outing, both scoring 14 points in the game, but the surprise came off the bench. An unsung hero was Kennedi Perkins. The freshman point guard, who has seen a significant increase in minutes in the latter half of the season, totaled a career-high 13 points and scored 11 of those in the first half. “Being a freshman, having my coach trust me to run the offense for us means a lot to me and definitely boosts my confidence,” Perkins said.
Asia Strong, who missed the past few games for the Orange, suited up and had the Dome rocking early. Strong started off the first quarter with three-straight three-pointers and reached 10 points by the end of the first quarter. She finished the game by adding a block and five rebounds to her productive first game back. When asked about what she has learned about herself since coming to Syracuse, she mentioned her journey. “I learned that I just gotta keep going,” said Strong. From Wichita State to Syracuse, her electric energy has been infectious all season for this newly rejuvenated program.
Syracuse improves to 8-9 in ACC play and 17-11 overall. The Orange snap a two-game losing streak and are again back into the win column. Coach Legette-Jack mentioned this team represented two words, “Fight on.” This team will continue to fight as their hopes remain high for the ACC tournament, where anything can happen during Fantastic Flurry and March Madness.
Syracuse’s next time out is on the road against Pittsburgh on Thursday, February 23 on the road against the Panthers.