WINTER PARK, Fla. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team fell to No. 19/16 Syracuse, 92-66, in the first game of the Florida Sunshine Classic on Tuesday afternoon at Rollins College's Warden Arena.
"There are things that we definitely need to learn from," said head coach Karen Barefoot. "As a staff, to have our bench play as well as they did today, that is a big sign. We just have to have everyone else be committed and not get down about certaing things, because we really did rely on our bench."
Keyana Brown led Old Dominion (5-4) with 14 points off the bench, connecting on 4-of-7 three-point attempts. Fellow reserves Gianna Smith added nine points and Rhaven Kemp tallied five points and five assists. Overall, ODU's bench outscored the Orange's, 34-8.
Also for ODU, Jennie Simms scored 13 points with six rebounds and five assists, while Ashley Jackson tied her career high with 11 points.
Syracuse (9-3) jumped out to an early 12-5 lead in the first six minutes of play and led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter, despite an 8-0 run by the Lady Monarchs midway through the quarter.
ODU then opened the second quarter with a 9-0 rally in the first two minutes to take its biggest lead of the game at 24-16. Syracuse's Gabby Cooper then connected on three second-quarter triples as the Orange surged back ahead to take a 41-34 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Syracuse shot 51.6 percent from the field, outscoring the Lady Monarchs, 51-32, after the break.
ODU outrebounded Syracuse, 36-33, but the Orange scored 41 points off 31 Lady Monarch turnovers and also held a 28-16 advantage in points in the paint. Alexis Peterson led all scorers with 27 points and 10 assists, while Brittney Sykes added 20 points.
"We walk out of here today saying 'wow, there are a lot players who came off that bench and really gave us something,'" said Barefoot. "We were right there in the game today and they know it. We just made some mental mistakes and got too down on ourselves."
UP NEXT Old Dominion takes on Dayton (4-6, 0-1 A-10) tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the final game of the Florida Sunshine Classic.