Syracuse Earns NCAA Win Over West Point

SYRACUSE – The Army West Point women’s basketball team outscored Syracuse, 42-34, in the second half and came within 12 points in the fourth quarter, but was unable to erase an early deficit in a 73-56 loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

No. 13 Army ends the year 29-3, while No. 4 Syracuse improves to 26-7 and will face No. 12 Albany in Sunday’s Round of 32.

Sophomore Janae McNeal led Army with 14 points and seven rebounds, while seniors Kelsey Minato and Jean Parker each reached double figures with 10 points apiece.

Syracuse’s press forced 10-second violations on two of Army’s first four possessions to begin the game and the Orange held a 5-2 advantage 1:37 into the contest. The hosts, who held a 3-2 lead early, scored 12 straight points during a span of 4:49 to build its lead to 13 points, 15-2.

Parker sank a free-throw with 3:23 remaining in the opening period to make the score 15-3 and end a 5:00 scoring drought for the Black Knights before the Orange closed the quarter on an 8-1 run.
Army made the score 23-6 after a jumper from McNeal to start the second quarter, but Syracuse responded with 13 unanswered points to increase its lead to 30, 36-6, by the 3:34 mark.

Parker knocked in the first triple of the game for the Black Knights with 3:19 left in the first half and made the score 36-9 before sophomore Destinee Morris buried the team’s second three-pointer with 38 ticks remaining in the half, sending the visitors into the locker room down, 39-14.

Both sides scored four points early in the second half, as Syracuse maintained its 25-point lead with 8:06 on the clock in the third quarter. Army scored six straight points over the next 1:25, with threes from Minato and Parker, to move the score to 43-24.

The Orange outscored the Black Knights, 13-9, during the last 6:01 of the third frame, but Army held an 18-17 advantage in third-quarter scoring. Minato scored five points in the third quarter after being held without a point in the opening half.

McNeal tallied Army’s first six points to kick off the fourth quarter to help the Black Knights trim the deficit to 20, 58-38, before a 16-8 run brought the visitors back to within 12 points, 66-54, with 1:54 remaining.

Syracuse netted seven straight points to build its lead back to 19 with 26 ticks left. Minato scored the game’s final points, knocking down a pair of free-throws for her ninth and 10th points of the afternoon. With her 10-point effort Minato finishes her career on a 112-game double-digit scoring streak.

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