SYRACUSE -- It's one of the mysteries of the postseason -- why Syracuse is not in the NCAA tournament field With a 23-9 record and an RPI in the 50s, the Orange seemed to be one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.
But there still is postseason to play, and the Orange host St. Bonaventure in the second round of the WNIT at 7 tonight.
Both teams are making their third straight WNIT appearance with the Bonnies (21-11) advancing after a a 77-43 win over Lehigh in the Reilly Center.
Word around the Dome is that Syracuse was cool with going to Olean and playing in the Reilly Center, but the WNIT wanted the game in the Carrier Dome, a curious decision since the Orange drew just 203 fans in their opening round win over Monmouth. Bona, on the other hand, drew 730 in its opening round game.
In the game on the floor, Bona will need to shoot well from outside to neutralize the size of Syracuse.
Check back for updates throughout the game.
Final: Syracuse wins, 63-50. The Bonnies end their season at 21-12 in the second round of the WNIT for the second straight year.
7:54 p.m.: Tip-off!
15:46 left: Syracuse sprinted out of the gate and jumped out to a 37-20 lead but a nicely executed 7-2 run by the Bonnies has cut the lead to 39-27.
11:38 left: The Bonnies don't go away easily. Syracuse holds a 45-35 lead, but Bona is playing with the Orange, making plays to hit three-pointers and getting back at it on the defensive end.
10:11 left: Back-to-back buckets by Chelsea Bowker cut the lead to single digits. Syracuse lead is now just seven, 46-39. The Orange called time out. The Bonnies are in a hole, but they don't quit.
7:37 left: Bona had a chance to cut it to five, but a bad inbounds pass out of a timeout turned into a fastbreak layup for Erica Morrow and the Orange are back up in double digits, 52-41.
3:57 left: Syracuse digs in and takes a 61-41 lead.
Halftime: Syracuse leads, 32-20. Foul trouble hurt Bona's ability to be aggressive on the defensive end and the team in general suffered from a lack of energy, necessary when going against a big, talented team.
7 p.m.: Tip-off!
15:04 left: Bona takes an early 8-6 lead with five points from Megan Van Tatenhove. The Bonnies are playing their normally solid defense but missed their first four shots -- all good looks.
11:49 left: Bona holds a 12-10 lead. Two straight turnovers hurt Bona's chance to extend a 12-8 lead. The game product is good, but the few fans in attendance in the Dome leaves a flat atmosphere. Both teams deserve better.
7:59 left: Syracuse takes a 15-14 lead on a three pointer from Tasha Harris. Bona had trouble finding ways to score in that segment and needs to move the ball a bit quicker and crisper against the Orange to find a few easy buckets.
2:01 left: Syracuse leads, 26-18. The Orange used a 12-0 run to take a 24-14 lead but two buckets from Chelsea Bowker ended the Bona dry spell. The Bonnies are getting into foul trouble. Bona has seven team fouls. Syracuse just three.
--- Amy Moritz