Syracuse and Vanderbilt prevail in first day of South Point Shootout
South Point Shootout, Day 1
- Syracuse 71, Northern Iowa 54
- Vanderbilt 68, Iowa State 53
LAS VEGAS – With a near triple-double from Australian junior guard Georgia Woolley, Syracuse (4-1) dominated Northern Iowa (1-3) in the first game of the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas Friday afternoon.
“I expected her to play. I don’t really care about her numbers, it’s about our team,” Orange head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said about Woolley’s performance.
While the first quarter was sluggish offensively, there was a lot of scrappy play as the teams battled. The Orange defense prevailed, limiting Northern Iowa to just 18% from the field at a 3-of-17 dismal clip in the first quarter. Syracuse had a 15-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
UNI put up a myriad of shots in the second quarter but still had a hard time with made field goals. The Panthers shot just 4% better than in the first quarter at 22% (7-32). Meanwhile, Syracuse outscored UNI 18-11 in the period and headed into halftime leading 33-18. Syracuse graduate student guard Alaina Rice was the only player in double digits at the break with 10 plus four rebounds.
“Alaina was the one that really helped us in the beginning of the game with her poise and composure,” Legette-Jack said.
While the Panthers had a good third quarter, outscoring the Orange 23-18, they were still in a deficit as the fourth quarter loomed. They also failed to score in the last two minutes of the game. Syracuse outpaced UNI 20-13 in the last frame for the win.
Woolley was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Rice finished 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Senior guard Cailyn Morgan paced UNI with 12 points plus eight rebounds. She was the only Panther in double figures.
Legette-Jack praised the scrappiness of UNI.
“I love the way they scrap but our defense is what is going to propel us to have some fun in the ACC. I thought that we really played attention to the defense. Our offense struggled a bit because our defense was so strong.”
The first game featured two Black women head coaches. The last time the two teams played was in 1999 when Warren and Legette-Jack were assistant coaches on their respective teams.
Syracuse will play Iowa State on the second day of the Shootout while UNI faces Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt Holds Off Iowa State
Vanderbilt (6-0) remained undefeated after defeating Iowa State (2-2) in the second game of the day in a 68-53 win. The Commodores withstood a second-half comeback attempt by the Cyclones to pull off the victory.
“I’m so proud and happy for my team,” Vanderbilt head coach Shea Ralph said. “We talk a lot about being relentless and also being resilient. Nobody made a shot in the first half it seemed. We knew at some point we were going to start making shots, and they are a good shooting team, so we figured they would start to make some shots as well.”
Both teams shot dismally in the first quarter with Iowa State leading 12-11 after the first ten minutes. Vanderbilt came alive in the second quarter holding the Cyclones to just four points and earning a double-digit lead with two minutes left before the break. At halftime, the Commodores led 28-16.
Iowa State almost orchestrated a successful comeback in the third quarter, outscoring Vanderbilt 24-15 and getting within one point. However, the Commodores responded in the last period outpacing the Cyclones 25-13 in points.
Vanderbilt junior guard Iyana Moore led all scorers with 21 points plus five rebounds. Grad student guard Jordyn Cambridge added a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“We had to be resilient enough to fight through those runs and we did what we had to do to make sure we ended up on the right side of the scoreboard,” Ralph said. “We came away with a big win on the road during the holiday season. It’s such a great feeling for our team and I’m happy to see their hard work paying off.”
Freshman center Audi Crooks led ISU with 14 points and four rebounds. Freshman forward Addy Brown and senior forward Nyamer Diew were also in double figures. Brown had 11 plus five rebounds while Diew scored 10 points.