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Sunday, Dec 18, 2022 at 8:58 pm

Syracuse Women’s Basketball Elevates to a 67-58 Comeback Win Over Wake Forest


By Jesse Cook | @JesseCookTV

Incremental growth characterized the Syracuse Women’s Basketball Team in the squad’s 67-58 home victory over Wake Forest Sunday afternoon.

Guard Dyaisha Fair handed the Orange their first lead with 1:18 to go in the first half, a symbolic building block towards a come-from-behind victory.

As for a second step, eight players saw action on S.U.’s side, and every single one of them finished the game with a positive plus-minus score. The lowest plus-minus rating belonged to guard Alaina Rice and forward Saniaa Wilson, each with +1.

Another step in the right direction came from the physical play for the Cuse in the fourth quarter, when members of the Orange combined for 13 shots from the free throw line. With each quarter came a new piece in the puzzle that resulted in the comeback win.

Syracuse Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack said that she credits the thrilling victory to a solid bench effort. She said, “I think that’s a credit to what we’re trying to do as a team. We’re not going out there and saying, “Oh you’re a starter, well I’m gonna go out there and be good.” They’re saying, “Go out there and give your best effort because when my time comes, I’m gonna go out there and try to take it to another level.””

Legette-Jack now boasts a unique winning streak as she has been head coach for 14-consecutive wins at home, six of which came in the 2021-22 season while leading the University at Buffalo squad.

One Syracuse bench player shined on defense. Guard Cheyenne McEvans said that her positive work on the back end stems from a mutual trust with her more offensively-inclined teammates. She said, “I encourage them to work with me. When they rise, we all rise together. I feed it to them, and they feed it to me.”

At one point in the fourth quarter, McEvans ripped the basketball away from Wake Forest guard Kaia Harrison, and while fighting for control on the ground, managed to free herself and find her teammate Fair for a fast break bucket. She recalled, “I saw Dyaisha, and I threw it to her — I knew she was gonna go get it — so when I have the confidence that I have, it just leads me to take risks, take chances, dive on the ground, get those loose balls because I know that I can.”

McEvans finished the game with a career-high in both rebounds and steals, nabbing four boards and forcing a pair of turnovers.

Legette-Jack said that she feels her players will prove themselves throughout the season. She said, “We’re all locked on and ready, and everybody has to take a shower — Why? — because no one took a possession off, and I’m thinking that we’re gonna be a fun team to watch in March.”

The bench certainly never took time off — forward Asia Strong played 29 minutes and 16 seconds, more time than every starter besides Fair. The bench mounted 16 points, nearly one fourth of the Orange’s scoring.

The feeling of a comeback is also very real: A regulation game lasts 40 minutes, and Wake Forest held the lead for 33 minutes and 20 seconds. Despite leading for only five minutes and 36 seconds, S.U. leaves the affair victorious.

With that win, the Cuse remains undefeated at home, standing at a perfect 8-0. Syracuse will try to expand that streak to 9-0 Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. when the struggling 6-7 UAlbany Great Danes come to town.