Dyaisha Fair and Georgia Woolley Combine for 59 points as No. 19 Syracuse Triumphs over Virginia

Sunday, Feb 18, 2024 at 10:42 pm by Sports Editor

By Andrew Della Piana | @dellie_5

CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. – ​​Batman and Robin are generally known as the Dynamic Duo or the Caped Crusaders. That might have to be the new nickname for Dyaisha Fair and Georgia Woolley, who combined for 59 points to help No. 19 Syracuse (22-4, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcome Virginia (12-13, 4-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) 85-79. SU has recorded its first 12-win ACC season since 2018-19.

Syracuse made 12 three-pointers, with Fair leading the way with five. The last time the Orange had a dozen trifectas in a game came against the Cavaliers last season.

Syracuse set the tone straight away, scoring the first 8 points of the game and forcing Virginia to a pair of missed shots and a turnover. The Orange started 7-10 from the floor in the first 8 minutes of play. On defense, Syracuse did a great job of hedging screens and forcing several turnovers. UVA missed their final nine shots in the first quarter, shooting just 20% from the field. The Cavaliers also committed 7 turnovers as Orange led 24-10.

Sam Brunelle scored five points early in the quarter to cut the margin to ten, and UVA gained momentum by out rebounding SU for the majority of the game. Georgia Woolley, on the other hand, responded by hitting her third triple of the first half, giving the Orange their biggest lead of 15 with 4 minutes remaining. Syracuse shot 57% in the first half, and the 1-3-1 zone defense was particularly effective, limiting Virginia’s leading scorer, Kymora Johnson, to only 2 points.

Whatever Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said to the Cavs in the locker room was successful as UVA made six of the first seven field goals in the second half. SU went scoreless for over 3 minutes to start the quarter before Olivia McGhee capped a 9-0 run for the Hoos, cutting the deficit to 49-41. But Dyaisha Fair took over in the final minutes of the third period, hitting three triples. She pulled the Orange back to a 66-51 lead after the Cavaliers seemed to be regaining momentum.

Virginia began to find its offensive stride against Syracuse’s zone defense in the fourth quarter. Halfway through the period, shortly after Jillian Brown trimmed the SU advantage to single digits, Dyaisha Fair responded with three of her own. However, the Orange did not score for the next three and a half minutes, cutting their lead to two possessions. Woolley, however, made a pair of free throws late in the game to set a new season best of 26 points. The Orange would then dribble it out, securing their fourth consecutive victory over the Cavaliers.

Syracuse returns home to the JMA Wireless Dome on Thursday to face Duke.