SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Syracuse Orange continues its non-conference win streak to 70 consecutive games, with a 90-61 win over the Morgan State Bears. The Orange scored 31 points in the fourth quarter and Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman was pleased to see the effort in the fourth compared to the first half.
“We were just a little flat, it happens when you come off a big, emotional game like playing Tennessee,” he said.
The first few quarters were more inconsistent than slow.
“I felt like we were always in control of the game, but we didn’t blow it open until the second half,” Hillsman said.
Four minutes into the first quarter the Orange were up 15-2, but by the end of the first quarter Morgan State led 21-19 after four three-pointers by Morgan State guard Braennan Farrar.
Seventeen seconds into the second quarter Syracuse guard Brianna Butler hit a trey to put the Orange up 22-21. Syracuse guard Brittney Sykes was fouled and hit both free throws to bring the score 24-21. State’s Farrar scored her fifth three of the evening tying the game 24-24. Syracuse then went on a 9-0 run with three threes from Sykes, freshman guard Jade Phillips, and Butler to take the lead 33-24.
Syracuse closed out the half leading 42-27.
To start the second half Syracuse made an adjustment defensively from zone to man-to-man, which was part of the strategy for this game, Hillsman said.
“I think our man pressure caught them off guard,” he said.
Speeding the game up in the second half forced Morgan State to turn the ball over and the Orange were able to capitalize. The Orange went twelve-deep into its bench, allowing the them to play at a faster pace, Hillsman said.
Syracuse junior guard Alexis Peterson praised her teammates for coming in off the bench and being the difference for this game.
“I thought they were great. Maggie Morrison, Cornelia Fondren, Bria Day, Abby Grant, they all came in with great intensity and they kinda picked us up when we weren’t getting it done,” Peterson said.
Morgan State made a final 8-0 run in the third quarter before Syracuse took a timeout to stop the momentum and finished the quarter with a 59-48 lead.
Leading scorers for the Orange were Peterson who scored 17 points and had five steals, and Brianna Butler with 15 points. The Orange made 13 three-pointers against the Bears. Syracuse took a total of 81 shots, 43 of which were from beyond the arc, which is acceptable, Hillsman said.
“I think we probably should have had more like fifty from three,” he said. “I thought Butler passed up a few, Abby passed up a couple.”
The Bear’s Farrar finished with 22 points and Morgan State guard Tykyrah Williams led all scorers with 25 points.
Syracuse travels to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving weekend to play in the South Point Shootout. Next home game for the Orange is against the Stony Brook Seawolves Sunday December 6 at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.