No. 22 Syracuse Uses Fourth Quarter Surge to Sweep No. 15 Notre Dame 79-65, Earns First Ever Win in South Bend

Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 at 11:17 pm by Sports Editor

By Andrew Della Piana | @dellie_5


SOUTH BEND, I.N. – ​​At the end of the third quarter, the Orange and Fighting Irish saw 14 different lead changes and were deadlocked at 51 apiece. However, No. 22 Syracuse women’s basketball (17-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated the fourth, outscoring No. 15 Notre Dame (14-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) 28-14 to cruise to a 79-65 victory. 


For the first time in program history, SU defeated ND in the South Bend (1-19). The win also marks the Orange’s first-season sweep of the Irish. 


It was another all-out 40-minute battle, but both teams got off to a poor offensive start, shooting 3-12 from the field after four minutes. The Orange shook off some rust, embarking on a 6-0 run over the following 90 seconds and more than doubling the Irish on the boards with a 9-4 advantage.  


ND responded with an 8-0 run of their own, while SU committed four turnovers over the following seven possessions. Overall, after committing eight miscues in the first ten minutes, the Orange led by one, and SU continued to dominate the glass, leading 14-5, half of which came on the offensive end.


Midway through the second quarter, there had already been eight lead changes in the first half, with the Orange and Irish settling in from the field, shooting more than 40%. Hannah Hidalgo, the ACC’s leading scorer, was the first player to reach double figures, but SU caught fire at the last minute of the half, making 5 of its final 7 shots to grab its biggest lead of the night, 36-29. 


Alaina Rice scored 11 points in the second quarter alone, giving Syracuse a 38-32 lead before halftime. The Orange began to take better care of the ball in the quarter, with only one turnover.


The ‘Cuse had a promising start to the second half, as Dyaisha Fair drilled her third three of the night to increase SU’s lead to 41-32, but Syracuse went scoreless for the next three minutes, and Notre Dame capitalized with a 6-0 run. Halfway through the third quarter, the Irish erased a nine-point lead in a matter of minutes to lead 44-43. Fair had the only SU points in the quarter up to that point, while four different scorers notched points for ND during that span. 


Syracuse weathered the storm to finish the third, causing Notre Dame to miss seven of its final eight attempts. Fair and Hidalgo continued to throw haymakers as two of the conference’s best, both with 17 points heading into the fourth knotted at 51. 


With seven minutes of play, Syracuse had a slight 58-55 lead, and that’s when it went into high gear, outscoring Notre Dame 16-2 over the next five minutes. It started with Sophie Burrows providing a spark off the bench, as she fouled after banking in a layup, causing Notre Dame’s Niele Ivey to burn a timeout. 

Over the ensuing few minutes, SU shut down the best ACC offense in ND (84.4 PPG), forcing three turnovers and five misses on six shots in the fourth quarter. Georgia Woolley then drilled home a triple to reach double figures and put the finishing nail in the Fighting Irish’s coffin, with Orange leading 70-57 entering the final three minutes.

Syracuse returns to the JMA Wireless Dome on January 28th for another Top-25 ACC contest with #19 Virginia Tech. | @dellie_5