Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (4E Sports) – Senior guard Elashier Hall sank two pressure-packed foul shots with less than a second remaining to carry Syracuse to a nail-biting 74-73 victory over Virginia at the San Juan Shootout Saturday at Mario Morales Coliseum.
Hall, who finished with 17 points, was fouled by Jazmin Pitts with .4 seconds remaining on the clock and calmly sank two foul shots for the Orange’s second victory in the tournament, improving their record to 6-0.
The victory also ended Syracuse’s three-game losing streak to the Cavaliers. Virginia prevailed over Syracuse, 70-59, during their last meeting in 1999 in Charlottesville.
Senior center Kayla Alexander scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to fuel the Orange comeback from a 12-point first half deficit.
The 6-4 Alexander also had nine rebounds and four blocks while Pachis Roberts added 11 for the Orange.
Sophomore forward Sarah Imovbioh led all scorers with 20 points and added seven boards for the Cavaliers, who suffered their first loss of the season that dropped them to 4-1.
The Orange made five of their first 10 shots but suddenly went cold, going just 4-for-18 the rest of the first half.
Syracuse’s poor shooting allowed Virginia to build a 12-point lead, 40-28 with 1:18 left in the first half.
However, Hall scored five straight points for the Orange to pull within seven, 40-33, at the break.
In the second half, Carmen Tyson-Thomas buried a jumper to give the Orange a 68-67 lead but it was short-lived as Imovbioh scored a field goal to take the lead back for Virginia.
Thomas went 1-of-2 at the line and Hall hit a 3-pointer to give Syracuse a 72-69 lead with 1:20 left in the game.
Imovbioh and Kelsey Wolfe sank two free throws apiece to give the Cavaliers a 73-72 lead before Hall delivered her game-winning heroic.