Lady Orange rally for road win over St. John's

Syracuse shook off a seven point halftime deficit and closed the game on a 17-6 run to secure a big win on the road at St. John's.

The Syracuse University women’s basketball team improved to 19-7 after defeating St. John’s University on the road Saturday, 78-67. Starting center Kayla Alexander led SU with a game-high of 26 points and eight rebounds.

Guard Iasia Hemingway also contributed by shooting 4-of-5 from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line, scoring 13 points. Elashier Hall also reached double figures by scoring 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

SU might have won the game by nine points, but the Orange did trail by seven at halftime and at one point trailed by 11 points. However, the Orange engineered a second half comeback, outscoring the Johnnies 44-26 in the second half and closing the game with a 17-6 run.

The win not only improved Syracuse’s overall record; it also improved the Orange’s Big East Conference record to 7-6, giving them the tiebreaker advantage over the Johnnies.

“I think this is one of those games where we really stuck to our game plan,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said in a postgame interview. “Even when we were down we didn’t panic and start shooting threes.

St. John’s head coach Kim Barnes Arico said the Orange’s dominance inside gave them edge they needed to win.

"Syracuse really dominated us inside and that was the difference in the game. I thought this was a really big game for them,” Barnes Arico said in a postgame interview. “They're trying to get into the NCAA Tournament and they knew this was probably a must win game for them.”

Forward Da’Shena Stevens, who poured in 18 points and dished out three assists, led the Johnnies.

St. John’s also got help from the bench as guard Eugeneia McPherson scored 16 points, going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Nadirah McKenith also reached double figures by scoring 10 points after shooting 4-of-11 from the field.

The Johnnies went 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and shot 42 percent from the field, but Syracuse’s defense slowed down the St. John’s offense towards the end of the game.

The Johnnies lost their last lead of the game after Hemingway made a two-point jumper to tie the game with less than six minutes remaining. After a two-point layup by Alexander and two missed free throws by Da’Shena Stevens with less than four minutes remaining, the Orange took over. They held the Johnnies to six points in the final three minutes of the game, while pouring in 17 of their own.

“We started getting good box-outs and rebounds, and that was the key. We kept pushing the ball inside like we talked about coming into the game,” Hillsman said. “No matter what the score was, no matter what happened we kept pushing the ball inside and we did a good job of sticking to that game plan.”

Next up for Syracuse, the Orange will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats Tuesday, Feb. 22. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.