No. 2 Louisville Outpaces No. 15 Syracuse
By A.J. Fabbri
CitrusTV Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- It wasn’t Syracuse’s night in the KFC Yum! Center. Asia Durr started the game on a personal 10-2 run, sparking the No. 2 Cardinals’ (22-1, 9-1 Atlantic Coast) 76-51 rout of the No. 15 Orange (17-5, 6-3).
One of the hottest teams in the country, Louisville did not trail during the game. The Cards’ defense discombobulated SU’s offense early. They scored nine points on six Syracuse turnovers en route to a 30-17 lead after just one quarter. Durr tallied 12 of her 15 points in the first frame, as the Orange was forced to play catch up for the remainder of the contest.
The lead swelled to 21 by halftime, as seven different Cardinals posted at least six points in the first 20 minutes of play. To compare, SU’s first half scoring leaders– Miranda Drummond, Kiara Lewis and Amaya Finklea– tallied just six points each.
Headed into the second half, head coach Quentin Hillsman noted his team needed to be more disciplined in their offensive sets.
The Orange showed life to open up the third, as Digna Strautmane knocked down her only three pointer, followed by a layup from Finklea that cut the lead to 13. It was the closest SU had been since the start of the second quarter.
Buckets were hard to come by after that, as SU was held scoreless for the next five and a half minutes. Louisville outscored the Orange 19-4 in the final eight minutes of the third to gain a 70-42 lead heading into the final frame.
The Cardinals held serve in the fourth, coasting to an easy 25-point victory.
The loss is the worst deficit the Orange has posted this season. Typically, the main culprit in SU losses this season has been poor shooting. The Orange shot 32.3% from the field and 25% from three. Though below their season averages, those shooting numbers are far from their worst of the season.
Kiara Lewis was the only SU player in double figures with 13 points. Miranda Drummond drilled all three of her deep balls to finish with 9 points and four rebounds.
The Cardinals completely neutralized Tiana Mangakahia, holding her to five points on 1-11 shooting. Five points is tied for her lowest scoring total of the year.
The Orange looks to bounce back this Sunday in the Carrier Dome against Boston College at 2 pm. That starts a five game home stand for SU, which features high profile matchups with two top ten teams in No. 9 North Carolina State and No. 4 Notre Dame.
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