No. 22 West Virginia women blow big lead, edge Orange 71-69

NCAA Basketball
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WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP)Tynice Martin scored 24 points, Kysre Gondrezick added 23 and No. 22 West Virginia held on to defeat Syracuse 71-69 on Sunday after blowing a 20-point first-half lead.

Madisen Smith added 10 points for the Mountaineers (9-1), who went 2-0 in the Florida Sunshine Classic. They beat No. 19 Michigan State on Saturday.

Kiara Lewis poured in career-high 32 points with six assists for the Orange (6-5), who found themselves down 20 less than four minutes into the second quarter. That’s when Lewis took over and made it a game.

Gondrezick scored five points as the Mountaineers closed the first quarter with a 15-0 run to lead 20-6. Martin scored seven straight West Virginia points with her 3-pointer making it 30-10 at the 6:21 mark of the second quarter.

Lewis then scored five straight points and nine in an 11-0 Syracuse run. The Orange got within eight before West Virginia took a 37-25 lead at the half.

Lewis scored the first six points of an 8-0 run that closed the third quarter, pulling Syracuse within 52-51 and Amaya Finklea-Guity’s layup to start the fourth quarter gave the Orange a lead.

Lewis gave Syracuse its last lead, 69-68 with 42.5 seconds to play. West Virginia regained the lead with two Martin free throws at 35 seconds. Syracuse lost the ball on a 3-second violation with 9 seconds to go. Gondrezick made a free throw before a potential winning 3-pointer by Emily Engstler missed the mark.

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