BLACKSBURG, Va – A shorthanded Syracuse squad battled to a 78-64 loss against #13/11 Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday night. The Orange and Hokies were tied at 50 in the closing moments of the third quarter, but a 16-0 run from Virginia Tech decided the contest.
Senior guard Dyaisha Fair finished with 20 points, tied with VT’s Elizabeth Kitley for the game lead. ‘Cuse’s leading scorer also tied her season high in rebounds with six. Georgia Woolley also scored in double figures, pouring in 18 points with four three-pointers. Alaina Rice scored 13 points against the Hokies, her third double-digit outing in the last four games.
With Asia Strong and Teisha Hyman out of the lineup, freshman guard Kennedi Perkins and sophomore forward Saniaa Wilson both saw extended minutes on the court. Wilson started her third straight game, while Perkins scored five points and logged four rebounds off the bench.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED:
With 1:05 left in the third quarter, Syracuse and Virginia Tech were locked up at 50-50, as Fair converted a pair of free throws to tie the game. From there, the Hokies took control, as Virginia Tech scored the next 16 points of the game. Taylor Soule scored six points during the run and capped the stretch with a layup with 5:08 left in the game to lead 66-50.
Syracuse went 0-for-8 from the field including 0-for-5 from three over Virginia Tech’s 5:36 run. Fair scored Syracuse’s first points of the fourth with a three-pointer with five minutes left in the game to make it 66-53..
COACH LEGETTE-JACK SAID:
“We’re gonna get better and continue to improve. Hats off to a great team, I thought they did a tremendous job. I thought that Georgia [Woolley] stepped up and did some tremendous things. Alaina [Rice] really attacked hard. It’s gonna be great to get Asia and Teisha back. Syracuse is alive and well and we’re on our way to fight for something bigger than ourselves.”
Syracuse started strong against the #13 Hokies, utilizing a 1-2-2 and 2-3 zone to stifle Virginia Tech’s offense. The first quarter ended with ‘Cuse maintaining a 17-11 lead over the home team. Fair drove to the lane with 5:03 left in the first frame, generating a 10-2 run for the Orange. Woolley capped the run with a three with 2:09 left, growing Syracuse’s lead to 10, 17-7.
Behind stout defensive play from Kyra Wood, Lewis and Wilson, Syracuse held Virginia Tech to a 29% shooting percentage from the field (5-17) in the first quarter. The Orange also blocked four shots in the first 10 minutes.
HOKIE HOME COOKING:
In the second half, The Hokies found an offensive groove, moving the ball effectively against a Syracuse zone that gave them trouble in the first half. Virginia Tech recorded 23 assists, the most by a Syracuse opponent this season. D’Asia Gregg led all players with seven assists.
- Fair has scored in double figures in all 23 games this season
- Rice has hit double-digit points in three of the last four contests
- The Orange are now 10-3 when leading at halftime
- Virginia Tech’s 23 assists are the most by a Syracuse opponent this season
- Syracuse outscored Virginia Tech in the paint, 32-28
- With 20 points tonight, Fair is now nine points away from recording 2,500 career points.
The Orange follow their loss against #13 Virginia Tech on Sunday, Feb. 5th with a rematch against Boston College at the JMA Wireless Dome. Syracuse won the first meeting 83-73 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Jan. 12. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on ACCNX. Sunday’s contest is also Equality & Inclusion Day at the JMA Wireless Dome.