Dec. 29, 2009

Courtesy of Syracuse Athletics

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The No. 24 Syracuse women's basketball team made history on Monday evening by becoming the first Orange team to begin the season 11-0 after its 67-46 defeat of Rider (2-9). Three Syracuse players scored in double-figures, including junior guard Erica Morrow and sophomore guard Tyler Ash, who each contributed 12 points apiece. Morrow also matched her career-high with nine rebounds, while Ash registerd a career-best in points. Freshman guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas recorded her first career double-double with career-high in points with 11 and rebounds with 13. She led all players with seven offensive boards, paired with a team-high two steals.

The Orange overcame its first halftime deficit of the season, 31-28, and held the Broncs to just 15.4 percent (4-26) shooting in the second half. SU controlled the inside, holding a 20-12 advantage in points in the paint, while dominating in fast break points, 12-0.

The Orange capitalized on an early pair off Rider fouls to open up the scoring, but the Broncs kept it close, knotting it up twice in the first four minutes before holding its first lead of the game, 10-9. It marked the first time the Orange has trailed in a game since it was down 26-24 with 5:32 remaining in the first half to Butler on Nov. 27. SU won that game, 80-64.

The Broncs increased their separation by as much as nine, 21-12, courtesy of consecutive 3-pointers with 9:22 left, but Tyson-Thomas and Morrow paired up to narrow the deficit to five with six minutes remaining. The Orange continued to rally in the final minutes of the half as junior guard Tasha Harris nailed a 3-ball to bring it within one, 29-28, but Caitlin Bopp made a jumper to close the half, 31-28. The score marked the first time Syracuse trailed at the half this season.

Senior guard Nicole Michael nailed a basket from behind the arc with 17:33 remaining to even the score at 33-33. The Orange turned up the pressure on a Rider in-bound, forcing a turnover for a Morrow basket to give SU its first lead since 14:33 of the first half. Rider regained the lead, 39-35, at the 15:28 mark, but the Orange went on a 13-1 run in the next four minutes to hold the 48-40 advantage. Back-to-back free throws by Alexander began a 15-0 run for the Orange to close the game and settle the 67-46 victory.

The Orange hosts New Hampshire on Wednesday, December 30 at 7 p.m. inside Manley Field House. The game is free to the public.