Arizona women’s basketball drops 1st round matchup with Syracuse despite 5-point lead late

Mar 23, 2024, 4:14 PM

Alyssa Latham #23 of the Syracuse Orange is defended by Helena Pueyo #13 and Esmery Martinez #12 of...

Alyssa Latham #23 of the Syracuse Orange is defended by Helena Pueyo #13 and Esmery Martinez #12 of the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of a first round NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament game at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on March 23, 2024 in Storrs, Connecticut. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Syracuse star Dyaisha Fair scored 32 points, including 13 after she returned from a second-half injury, to lead the Orange to a 74-69 come-from-behind win over No. 11 seed Arizona in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

The third team All-American scored all of her team’s points during a game-winning run that began with the Orange trailing 66-61 with 3:16 left. Alyssa Latham added 10 points for Syracuse (24-7).

Skyler Jones had 24 points while Jada Williams and Helena Pueyo each added 14 for Arizona (18-16).

The Wildcats led by as many as nine points in the first half at 31-22 after a 3-pointer from Williams. But Fair scored five points in the final 41 seconds of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 37-32 at intermission.

Syracuse kept chipping away at the Arizona lead and a steal and fast-break layup by Fair tied the game at 51.

The fifth-year guard went down hard after driving into Arizona’s Isis Beh on the final play of the third quarter. She lay on the floor for several minutes and had to be carried into the locker room without putting any weight on her legs.

Kennedi Perkins jump shot to open the fourth quarter gave the Orange their first lead at 53-51.

Fair emerged from the locker room to cheers just over two minutes into the quarter and was back on the court a short time later.

But Arizona fought back. They went up 64-59 on a layup by Breya Cunningham and led 66-61 before Fair took over.

Her 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:17 left gave the Orange a 68-66 lead.

An offensive foul on Arizona’s Jones gave the ball to Syracuse, and the Orange never gave back the lead,

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