The Syracuse University women’s basketball team faces an anxious wait over the next week after being ousted from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The eighth-seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack amassed a 30-point edge in the paint en route to an 83-58 victory over the No. 9 Orange in the ACC second round at Greensboro, N.C.
The reigning three-time ACC Tournament champion North Carolina State (20-10) advanced to face top-seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinals Friday in the same location.
Syracuse (18-12 overall) entered the day as the final team listed under the “Last Four In,” of ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme’s projected NCAA Tournament field.
The Orange must now wait until 8 p.m. March 12 to see if it will receive an at-large NCAA bid in its first season under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.
“We left it all out there, there was no more juice in the Orange, and my hope is that the committee sees us as a possible 64 or 68,” Legette-Jack said. “If not, maybe NIT. If not, the mirror is going to tell us we left it out there and were pretty darn good.”
The Wolfpack was without leading scorer Diamond Johnson due to injury but dominated the interior from the onset to overcome her absence.
North Carolina State scored a season-high 54 points in the paint, nearly matching SU’s entire scoring output. The Wolfpack shot 61 percent overall and held a 41-23 edge in rebounds to seize the advantage in the first quarter and never relinquish.
Jakia Brown-Turner and Camile Hobby scored 16 points apiece, and River Baldwin added 14 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting performance to pace the Wolfpack.
“They really just dominated us down low, and we didn’t have an answer for them today in that respect,” SU sophomore Georgia Woolley said.
Teisha Hyman and Woolley scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, to lead Syracuse.
Dyaisha Fair, who was named to the All-ACC First Team and All-ACC Defensive Team earlier this week, was held to 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting. Dariauna Lewis also added 11 points for SU.
The Orange shot just 32 percent overall and went 3-for-20 on 3-point field goals. SU went 3-for-18 from the floor and 1-for-10 from deep in the fourth quarter as N.C. State pulled away from a 55-44 edge to open the period. The Wolfpack led 36-32 halftime.
“This is their stage, you’re talking about the team that has been here and won it three times in a row,” Legette-Jack said.
“We were this young team that all our announcers called mid-majors, not good enough, we had to try to dethrone the triple threat. ... We had our backs against the wall and said bring it on, and we really tried, and we gave it our best effort, and the best team won today.”
Saniaa Wilson exited in the third quarter with an apparent head injury for SU after colliding with an opposing player going for a loose ball.
The N.C. State player dove forward to grab the ball and the crown of her head hit Wilson’s forehead.
Wilson stayed on the court for several minutes before walking off with the help of SU trainers.
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