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Syracuse used to have a consistent three-pronged backcourt that led it through wins and kept it close in losses against top Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. Teisha Hyman, the third part of the trio coming off her second torn ACL, has been the one bright spot throughout each game for the Orange.
Against Wake Forest, she proved once again that her campaign as the Orange’s comeback player-turn point-person on the court would last all season. During the first quarter with SU trying to claw back and tie the game, Hyman drove — like she did numerous times throughout the game — sharply down the lane toward the basket. Wake Forest met her with two defenders, so she stepped back and rocketed a two-hand shot in for a layup.
On the next possession, Najé Murray stole a pass away from Jewel Spear at the top of the key. In transition, Hyman sat on the right side of the outer arc and called for the ball. Murray passed it over and Hyman quickly buried the 3 to tie the game at 12 apiece.
Despite a fourth straight loss, one that dropped Syracuse to 12th place in the ACC, Hyman exploded for 26 points, extending her double-digit streak to 16 straight games. The guard also managed four steals and grabbed six defensive rebounds in the Orange’s (11-16, 4-13 ACC) 76-60 loss to Wake Forest (14-14, 4-13).
“She was 10-for-20, so she was efficient, that’s what I liked about it,” acting head coach Vonn Read said.
Despite lifting her points per game up to 15.7 points, Hyman periodically has trouble shooting over 40% from the field such as in recent losses against Florida State and NC State. But with another poor performance from beyond the arc by Murray and a low-production game from Chrislyn Carr, Hyman had already managed 15 points by halftime.
From the start, the Orange never held a lead against the Demon Deacons. But Hyman ensured that, with the exception of the third quarter, Syracuse stayed close enough to Wake Forest to be within striking distance. After falling behind by 12 points in the second quarter, Hyman once again showcased her maneuvering skills. She waited at the top of the key as SU cleared a lane for her to the basket. Hyman faked right, throwing her defender off balance before reversing to her left and euro-stepping around the Wake Forest guard.
She dribbled once more before jumping, giving her enough space to loft up an uncontested layup. On the next possession, Hyman calmly stepped back after jab-stepping toward Spear and hit a 3-pointer for a quick 5-0 run for SU.
“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 after Hyman’s triple-double against Central Connecticut State.
Wake Forest doesn’t possess the same height as past teams like NC State that the Orange have had fits against down low. While they allowed more than 40 points in the paint for the third time in four games, Hyman frequently operated inside on the offensive side. She was forced to throw up off-balanced shots nearly every time she drove in, but she still continued to bank in and swish those attempts.
In the fourth quarter during a stretch of pressure SU used to cut the lead to as few as nine, she once again found enough space to drive past her defender, a trend that typically spelled trouble for the Demon Deacons and led to Hyman scoring. Hyman stutter-stepped and bolted down the paint. She was met with contact, but she leaned to her left and managed to bury a layup to cut Wake Forest’s lead to 11.
Christianna Carr did finish with 15 points notching three 3-pointers, and Alaysia Styles added an extra 10, but no one took over the game consistently like Hyman did Thursday, just as she’s done throughout the tumultuous season for the Orange. She took shots that weren’t contested or from well beyond the outer arc like Murray and Christianna did. She tended to be the one other SU players passed out to in hopes of creating some sort of success.
She tried to lift the Orange to their first win on the road in four games. Late in the game, she drove straight to the hoop for a lofting layup then followed the make up with an off-balanced floater inside the paint to cut the deficit to nine points, but nothing she did brought Syracuse close enough to take a lead or be in a position to win against Wake Forest.
“She gave it her all. She made points one-on-one and that’s what she can do in this league,” Read said.
The post Teisha Hyman’s comeback season continues after 26-point game against Wake Forest appeared first on The Daily Orange.