Orange womens hoops wins thriller over ACC foe Virginia

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico - Elashier Hall made two free throws with .4 seconds left to give Syracuse women's basketball (6-0) a thrilling 74-73 victory vs. Virginia (4-1) on Saturday at the Mario Morales Coliseum. The undefeated Orange went 2-0 at the San Juan Shootout as it defeated another ACC foe, Georgia Tech, on Friday, 75-72 in overtime.

After Virginia's Kelsey Wolfe made a pair of free throws with 8.5 seconds left to give her team a 73-72 lead, Cornelia Fondren drove the length of the court before being tied up in the lane resulting in a held-ball situation with 2.1 seconds left. With the possession arrow the Orange's way, Hall received the inbounds pass on the block and drew the foul on UVA's Jazmin Pitts, putting the senior guard on the line to win the game.

After Brianna Butler opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Orange never led again until Carmen Tyson-Thomas' jumper with 2:42 left made it 68-67 in favor of SU. A Sarah Imovbioh field goal with 2:24 left gave UVA the lead back, 69-68, but Tyson-Thomas went 1-of-2 at the line with 1:56 left to tie it, 69-69, before Hall hit a 3-pointer from the left wing that gave SU a 72-69 lead with 1:20 left.

Imovbioh sank two free throws with 1:02 remaining to pull the Cavaliers within one, 72-71, with 1:04 left, before the rebound of a Hall 3-point attempt went out of bounds off the Orange with 48 ticks left, setting up Wolfe's go-ahead free throws with 8.5 seconds left.

Kayla Alexander scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to fuel the Orange comeback. The senior center also led the Orange with nine rebounds and four blocks. Hall finished with 17 points and Pachis Roberts added 11, giving SU three in double figures.

Imovbioh led all scorers with 20 points for the Cavaliers, who suffered their first loss of the season.

After starting the game by making five of its first 10 shots, the Orange shooters cooled off over the rest of the first half, going 4-of-18 from that point on, allowing Virginia to build a lead as large 12, 40-28 with 1:18 left in the half. Hall scored five-straight points for the Orange to pull it within seven, 40-33, at the half.

Virginia dominated on boards in the first half with a 25-12 rebounding advantage, but Syracuse out-battled the Cavaliers on the glass in the second half, 22-16.

With two wins in Puerto Rico over soon-to-be conference opponents, Syracuse is 6-0 for the fourth season in a row, but the first in which five of the six wins have come away from home. The Orange will next play at Dartmouth on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the sixth of seven-straight on road.

Courtesy: SU Athletics