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Ionescu’s Court: Can the Syracuse Orange beat the Ducks?

#1 Oregon versus #17 Syracuse in New York!

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

At 1 PM PT, the #17 Syracuse Orange will attempt to defeat the greatest women’s basketball team in the world, the undefeated #1 Oregon Ducks.


RECORD: 3-0, 0-0





  • W (3/23) NCAA Tournament, First Round, Fordham, 70-49
  • L (3/25) NCAA Tournament, Second Round, South Dakota State, 64-75
  • W (11/5) Ohio, 66-54
  • W (11/12) Maryland Eastern Shore, 65-50
  • W (11/16) Albany, 75-53


  • ORANGE score 68.7 PPG
  • DUCKS allow 54.0
  • ORANGE shoot .390% from the floor
  • DUCKS allow .332%
  • ORANGE shoot .326% from three
  • DUCKS allow .241%
  • ORANGE average 47.7 rebounds
  • DUCKS allow 28.7
  • ORANGE allow 52.3 PPG
  • DUCKS score 99.0
  • ORANGE allow .337% from the floor
  • DUCKS shoot .523%
  • ORANGE allow .296% from three
  • DUCKS shoot .376%
  • ORANGE allow 34.0 rebounds
  • DUCKS average 48.0
  • ORANGE average 14.7 assists/ 14.3 turnovers


After falling in the second round to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, the Syracuse Orange is undefeated three games into the season and are looking to defend their home court from the visiting #1 Oregon Ducks.

They kicked off the season with a 66-54 victory over Ohio in the Dome. Junior Kiara Lewis flirted with a triple double, finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and nine assists against the Wildcats.

A week later, the Orange took down the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks on Military Appreciation Night by a score of 65 to 50. Four different Syracuse players scored in the double-digits and sophomore Emily Engstler’s double-double helped head coach Quentin Hillsman earn his 290th win at Syracuse.

The Albany Great Danes suffered the same fate as the previous two teams who visited the Carrier Dome; Engstler recorded her second consecutive double-double and the Orange was able to pull away with big second and fourth quarters for the 75-53 victory. Now, #17 Syracuse has a chance to avenge last year’s two-point defeat at Matt Knight Arena when the #1 Oregon Ducks fly to New York.


NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

#45 Digna Strautmane

6’2, Forward, Junior

(3 GP - 29.3 MPG - .452 FG% - .389 3PT% - .000 FT%- 11.7 PPG - 4.3 REB)

Coming off a season in which she scored 17 double-doubles, Strautmane already has three. She was a member of the Latvian U20 National team in 2018 and was a five-star recruit when she came to Syracuse.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

#23 Kiara Lewis

5’8, Guard, R-Junior

(3 GP - 33.0 MPG - .452 FG% - .273 3PT% - .600 FT% - 12.3 PPG - 5.0 REB)

Lewis scored a game-high 17 points against the Great Danes. She’s a key component for this Orange offense and could be in store for a big game this Sunday.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

#11 Gabrielle Cooper

5’10, Guard, Senior

(3 GP - 32.6 MPG - .333 FG% - .320 3PT% - .750 FT% - 10.3 PPG - 7.3 REB)

The lone senior starter, Cooper played her 100th game against Albany and is a clear leader on this team. She’s able to make a difference on the scoreboard and the boards and should have a very successful final year at Syracuse.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

#21 Emily Engstler

6’1, Guard, Sophomore

(3 GP - 27.6 MPG - .355 FG% - .300 3PT% - .615 FT% - 11.0 PPG - 10.0 REB)

Engstler is averaging a double-double per game and shows a ton of promise as a sophomore. The native New Yorker had back-to-back big games before this upcoming battle against the Ducks, scoring in the double digits in both matchups.

#22 Amaya Finklea-Guity

6’4, Center, Junior

(3 GP - 18.0 MPG - .352 FG% - .000 3PT% - .600 FT% - 5.0 PPG - 6.3 REB)

The 6’4 center has a tough matchup ahead of her, but she’s off to a strong start. It’s unlikely that she’ll be able to shutdown Hebard, but maybe she can slow her down and win some boards.


10 out of 19 Triple-Doubles

This is by far the Ducks’ toughest challenge of the season to date. Syracuse has a veteran group of starters, four of which are averaging double-digits in scoring, who have the size and talent to frustrate Oregon’s playmakers, A top-ranked team taking on an undefeated underdog at home will have the crowd loud and hungry for some revenge after last year’s 75 to 73 loss in Eugene, but Sabrina and crew aren’t the type to back down from a challenge, and unfortunately for the Orange, Satou is back!