Syracuse Orange women’s basketball scored a thrilling 67-65 victory over the Pitt Panthers on Sunday afternoon at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh. The victory signified Syracuse’s first winning streak in ACC play this season.
The Orange entered the game with a 20-game winning streak against the Panthers. The last time Pitt beat Syracuse was on January 30, 2009. The Orange were down by as much as 13 points early in the proceedings, but pulled off a comeback to claim the 21st consecutive victory over their rivals.
The free-throw line was Syracuse’s best friend down the line. Even though the Orange endured a six-minute drought, they still managed to find goals by drawing fouls and converting from the charity strip. With her team in the bonus, Alaysia Styles fouled under her own basket with just over a minute left. She swept both giveaways to give her team a 65-63 lead.
Syracuse’s first lead since 3-2 didn’t last long, as the Panthers tied things at 65 with a Liatu King layup. With the game in play, the ball only went to one person: Teisha Hyman.
Hyman was sitting on 29 points going into the decisive possession. It was a game of isolation through and through. She bided her time and coldly hit the go-ahead with 10 seconds left. Pitt called timeout to advance the ball but couldn’t bring down the tying shot at the buzzer.
Teisha Hyman and Alaysia Styles combined for 52 of Syracuse’s 67 points. Hyman played with 31 on a 10-of-17 shooting performance and also went 11-of-12 from the foul line. Styles had 21, including a perfect 10 out of 10 effort from the charity band.
The normally reliable Naje Murray struggled mightily, failing to find her way onto the scoresheet on an 0-for-11 shooting day. She performed well on the defensive end, forcing a ball from air on Pitt’s equalizer attempt.
Similar to Virginia’s game on Tuesday, the Orange didn’t shoot very well from the field. They only managed 34 percent from the floor and shot just 2-for-20 from three-pointers. Once again, Syracuse won this game from the foul line. They shot 25 of 28 from the boards and a perfect 10 of 10 in the final ten minutes.
Jayla Everett swept a three to give the Panthers a 26-13 lead with 8:32 left in the second quarter. The Orange were icy from three but began to find success inside the arc. Hyman hit a jumper to create a 32-27 deficit with 2:41 to go and fired another half-range shot to make it 34-31 at halftime.
Despite going 1 out of 13 out of three, Orange went 7 out of 9 from the field to close out the first half and get back into the game.
Pitt increased her lead to 42-33 with a bucket from Cynthia Ezeja with 6:57 left in the third. Syracuse didn’t let the Panthers go any further, but they only managed to trade baskets for most of the third quarter.
The Oranges struggled to keep their hosts away from the offensive all afternoon. Pitt’s Rita Igbokwe caught a missed free throw, completed the backhand and fouled out to help send her team into the fourth quarter with a 56-49 lead.
Hyman was determined on the offensive end and scored on a lay-up to bring the Orange to 58-55 with 7:30 to go. Hyman continued, hitting the foul line on back-to-back possessions and giving it all away to tie the game at 61 with 4:13 to go.
Sunday’s game marked the start of a busy period for Orange. It was the start of a four-game, seven-day streak for Syracuse. The Oranges are back in action on Tuesday when they host state of florida at 18 hours