Syracuse Defense Too Much for Northern Iowa in Game One of South Point Thanksgiving Shootout

Friday, Nov 24, 2023 at 6:01 pm by Sports Editor

By Carson Fowler | @CarsonFowlerTV

Syracuse never trailed in this game and left South Point Arena with a 71-54 victory over Northern Iowa.

UNI had no answer offensively against SU’s defense. The Panthers held to 30% from the floor; Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Player-of-the-Year Grace Boffeli ended the game with just eight points (2-12 FG). Junior forward Kyra Wood had much to do with Boffeli’s sub-par performance. Wood, Boffeli’s primary defender, finished with eight points, 10 boards, and four blocks in 30 minutes of action. The Panthers never settled into their half-court offense and never looked comfortable against this relentless Orange defense. Syracuse did a great job speeding up Northern Iowa, getting pressure on ball handlers, and forcing tough shots from the perimeter (Northern Iowa 7-25 3P).

Coach Jack set the tone early and had Syracuse playing at its pace from start to finish vs. Northern Iowa.

Syracuse missed 44 shots in this game. Dyaisha Fair and Georgia Woolley combined for 9-30 from the floor, including 2-12 from deep. Woolley salvaged her day by finishing 11-11 at the charity stripe. She also had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Fair failed to reach double digits today for the first time since March 5, 2022. The graduate player shot a freezing 22% over her last two games, compared to 49% through her first three.

Alaina Rice continued the strong start to her senior season. The fourth-year guard had 17 points, four assists, and three blocks vs. Northern Iowa today, her fifth straight game in double figures. Rice has quietly emerged as that much-needed third scoring option (13.2 PPG) for SU this season.

It’s a quick 24 hours until Syracuse’s next game vs. Iowa State. The Cyclones play the undefeated Vanderbilt Commodores tonight before it matches up with the Orange tomorrow, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m.