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Teisha Hyman didn’t just etch herself into Syracuse women’s basketball history when she recorded the program’s fifth triple-double on Dec. 5. Her role in helping the Orange score a program-high 116 points in their win over Central Connecticut State gave her the national recognition her teammates believed was long overdue.
Hyman hadn’t played for 622 days before the start of the season due to injuries, but four days prior to the CCSU victory, she notched a career-high 30 points in Syracuse’s upset win over then-No. 18 Ohio State. Hyman topped that when she recorded a triple-double with 27 points, 15 assists and 11 steals against the Blue Devils.
“The country will slowly realize who Teisha is,” Najé Murray said. “It’s been 600 days, but they will know who she is.”
Hyman has continued to lead Syracuse (9-10, 2-7 Atlantic Coast) through its toughest stretch of the season. She averages 15.2 points per game and 2.6 steals per game, second-most in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The redshirt sophomore leads SU in scoring, assists and steals and is in her first season since returning from an ACL injury sustained two seasons ago.
Syracuse went on its worst losing streak since the 2008-09 season throughout January, but Hyman led the team in either scoring, assists or steals every game, including five as its leading point scorer.
Against then-No. 17 Duke, Hyman led the Orange with 23 points, 11 more than their next-best scorer. She only scored six of those points in the first half, with just four coming from the field, but went off in the second half.
“Teisha came out, we ran a few plays for her, and then she got going,” acting head coach Vonn Read said postgame. “When Teisha’s in attack mode, she can kind of carry you a little bit. You go with the hot hand.”
Syracuse was on an 11-2 run through a good portion of the third quarter, and Hyman went on a personal 6-0 run, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the line while scoring 11 points in the quarter. Hyman had just come off of a loss against Boston College where she scored just one point in the first half but finished the game with 17, hitting seven second-half field goals.
During that stretch against Duke, Hyman was at the forefront of Syracuse’s 5-out motion offense. She hit a floater midway through the third quarter after charging into the paint from the right wing to pull the Orange within five points.
Hyman was also crucial in Syracuse’s upset over then-No. 18 Ohio State. She recorded a third of her points in the first half, finishing the game 66.6% from the field. Right after halftime, Hyman collected a handoff pass from Chrislyn Carr near Syracuse’s bench and found an open lane to hit a contested bank shot to give SU a three-point lead.
That lead fluctuated between the Orange and the Buckeyes throughout the third quarter, but Syracuse still managed to hold a three-point advantage in the last two minutes. Following a Murray steal inside SU’s zone, Hyman caught a pass off the fast break to sink a 3-pointer, extending an Orange lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the game.
As the main ball handler in Syracuse’s 5-out offense, Hyman has improved Syracuse’s passing this season. Hyman leads the team with 83 assists (tied for 72nd nationally), more than all but one SU player recorded last season. In Read’s 5-out motion offense, Hyman is usually at the top of the key when the Orange are on offense, helping the team move the ball to the wings by driving and kicking.
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In Syracuse’s second meeting with Notre Dame, Hyman led all players in scoring and added a team-high eight assists. The Orange hit just three 3-pointers against the Fighting Irish, so many of Hyman’s assists came on baskets inside the paint. Hyman assisted two of those 3s, including Syracuse’s last make from deep early in the third quarter, where she drove straight in transition before dishing the ball to her left, allowing Chrislyn to make it a two-possession game.
“Teisha had a great game against Notre Dame,” Read said. “She played well, she carried us in the second half, and she’s capable of doing that any day.”
Chrislyn’s 3 wouldn’t have been possible without Hyman’s steal on Olivia Miles. Hyman finished the game with seven steals, her most since the Central Connecticut State game. She’s tied for 35th nationally in steals per game and has topped her average eight times this season.
Against Notre Dame, steals got Hyman on her quadruple-double watch. She recorded four in the first quarter, including three within the first three minutes of the game that led to Syracuse’s first three field goals of the game.
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At the end of the opening period, Hyman took advantage of a turnover-heavy Notre Dame side, intercepting a Sam Brunelle pass. Hyman took the ball down the court and set up Alaysia Styles for a layup that gave Syracuse a two-point lead at the end of the quarter.
Read said Hyman did a great job breaking Notre Dame’s Miles down one-on-one. But Syracuse’s secondary scoring cost it the win as Hyman nearly carried SU to a crucial ACC upset, showcasing a side of her game Read said he was excited to witness ahead of the season.
“I said before the season that I was just going to be excited to see Teisha be able to play some minutes and be able to display her game,” Read said. “I knew that she had this type of game. She’s a very talented scorer. She can do a lot of things other girls can’t.”
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