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Even before the fourth quarter had started, Teisha Hyman was on a quadruple-double watch. She had already recorded 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and kept inching her way toward that potentially-historic feat with seven steals.
Heading into the final two minutes of the third quarter, Syracuse was down seven points, and was shooting 6-for-17 from the field with just one made 3-pointer. Hyman hit an underhand layup, driving through the paint to bring SU within five points. But Notre Dame’s Sam Brunelle countered that layup with one of her own on the other end.
Then, with three seconds left in the quarter, Hyman dribbled just inside the top of the 3-point arc and sunk a pull-up jumper to bring Syracuse back within five heading into the final frame. Hyman didn’t just carry Syracuse during those few possessions — she scored half of the Orange’s field goals in the quarter.
Hyman attempted to carry Syracuse (8-10, 1-7 Atlantic Coast) to an upset win, but her efforts weren’t enough in the 83-62 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame (15-4, 6-2 ACC). The redshirt sophomore didn’t record the quadruple-double — let alone a double-double — but led all scorers with 22 points, defeated by a key 14-2 run from ND to seal SU’s bid at an upset conference victory.
In Syracuse’s six straight conference losses, Hyman has been the team’s only player to record double-figures in each game. She has made at least a third of her field goal attempts in her last five games, too. On Thursday, she made 11 shots from the field — all coming inside — with a 50% success rate, her highest against a conference opponent this season.
Thursday was Hyman’s highest shooting percentage of Syracuse’s conference losing streak — one in which five of its six opponents have been ranked. During that stretch, Hyman has generated most of her points in the second half.
Against Boston College on Jan. 6, Hyman missed all of her first-half field goal attempts, scoring on just two second-quarter free-throw attempts. But in the second half, she erupted, finishing the game with a team-high 17 points, making seven shots from the field, including two 3s.
On Thursday, Hyman scored 16 second-half points and was responsible for all of Syracuse’s scoring in the final six minutes of the third quarter, making up for the Orange’s 3-point scoring drought that lasted nearly the entire first seven minutes of the frame.
Less than five minutes into the half, Hyman scored a layup on the fast break off a feed from Christianna Carr to pull Syracuse within three points of Notre Dame. She then scored the Orange’s next six points to keep them within 10 points of the Fighting Irish heading into the final quarter.
Then in the fourth quarter, Hyman hit a pull-up jumper with Syracuse trailing by six points early on. On the Orange’s next possession, Alaysia Styles drove inside the paint, but Maya Dodson blocked her shot, the ball ricocheting off the glass. The board was recovered by Hyman, who buried the putback layup to make it a two-possession game, decreasing Notre Dame’s lead to 58-54.
That was the tightest deficit the game would see until the final buzzer sounded. Notre Dame went on a 14-2 run in the final stages of the game, and Syracuse’s lack of secondary scoring beyond Hyman was exposed. Hyman scored eight of Syracuse’s 14 fourth-quarter points but couldn’t salvage a fatigued Orange side that scored no bench points and shot 15% from the 3-point arc.
Despite the loss, Thursday’s game was an all-around performance not seen from Hyman since she notched a triple-double against Central Connecticut State on Dec. 5, when she recorded a season-high 11 steals.
It seemed for stretches like Hyman was going to match that total as she finished the first half with four steals, all coming in the first quarter. She entered the game with 40 steals, averaging 2.35 per game, leading a Syracuse team that tops the ACC with 10.72 steals per game.
Notre Dame conceded 13 of its 23 turnovers in the first half, giving Hyman numerous opportunities for steals. Each of Hyman’s first three steals led to Syracuse field goals. On Hyman’s fourth steal of the quarter, she intercepted Brunelle’s pass across the paint and took the ball into the Fighting Irish’s end on the fast break. She set up Styles for the layup, giving Syracuse a two-point lead heading into the second quarter.
Still, Hyman had to compete with the likes of Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles, who was one assist away from a triple-double and had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Acting head coach Vonn Read said Hyman was very effective in controlling Miles, though, and while Hyman didn’t record a double-double of her own, she was once again the focal point of another letdown defeat.
“Both players are great players. Olivia Miles is a walking triple double,” Read said postgame. “She pretty much was one assist away from that, and Teisha did a great job of breaking her down one-on-one.”
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