Syracuse used its three-quarter court press and trapping defense to stifle Kelsey Plum. Overall, the Orange defense dominated the Huskies. Also, the inability to hit shots early in the game made it hard for the Huskies to get anything going. Syracuse dropped 3-pointers to grow the lead in the first half.
The only saving grace for the Dawgs was Talia Walton, whose 3 pointers kept UW in striking distance. Walton finished with 8 3-pointers and led the Huskies with 29 points. She set a Final Four record with highest 3-pt FG percentage with 88.9% (8-9 from 3). Chantel Osahor was ineffective on the offensive end but did battle underneath for 14 rebounds. However, she just had 3 points. Plum was harassed by Orange pressure all night long but still mustered 17 points, going only 5-18 from the field. The Orange definitely wore her down over the course of the game.
The aggressive ‘Cuse defense bothered the Dawgs, causing 18 UW turnovers. Notably, this was the same amount they gave up in their first game in November. This time the Orange capitalized off the 18 TOs with 20 points. They also set a Final Four record with 33 3-point attempts, making 12.
The Orange led by as many as 24 points.
Each time the Huskies made a run, the Orange came back quickly to build back a comfortable lead.
The Huskies failed to score after the 5:39 mark in the 4th quarter.
Despite tonight’s loss, it has been an unexpectedly great run by the Washington Huskies women. Kelsey Plum was the first women’s basketball All-American and Coach Mike Neighbors brought his team to the school’s first women’s Final Four.
The Orange now face the UConn Huskies on Tuesday night for the National Championship.