SYRACUSE — It only took Syracuse girls basketball 1 minute, 31 seconds to erase a seven-point first period deficit, fueled by a pair of Andie Thomas 3-pointers — and the freshman was just getting started.
The Syracuse southpaw splashed home five buckets from beyond the arc in the second stanza and the Titanic run gradually increased to a crescendo of 17-4 over Northridge before the half mercifully ended.
Syracuse then survived a spirited Northridge comeback in the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 57-44 Region 1 win Friday evening.
With the Titans (8-3, 1-1 Region 1) trailing 16-9 after one, Thomas came off the bench and made an immediate impact.
“I was thinking, we’re down, we need something to get the spark going,” Thomas said. “Once I hit one, it’s almost like it gets easier, because you have more confidence in yourself.”
Thomas finished the game with 18 points, the five 3s evenly spaced with a trio coming to open a quarter that started with an 11-0 run and a pair to close out the half on a 6-0 spurt.
Northridge (4-8, 0-3) coach Chris Smith kept his team in the locker room less than three minutes before returning to the floor.
“What do you say; get back out on the court,” Smith said. “You go in the locker room and you come out sluggish.
“I said don’t sit down, stay standing, we’ll come back out here, take some shots and we’ll talk on the court if we need to. Sometimes players have got to figure things out,” Smith said.
Syracuse’s halftime lead expanded to 37-27 early in the fourth frame before the Knights rallied with an 11-3 run to make it 40-38 with 6:01 remaining.
But the Titans took advantage of Northridge’s aggressive play and shot 12 free throws in the quarter after shooting eight through the first three quarters. Northridge shot 1 of 6 for the game.
“My game plan was continue to attack; we’re in the game,” Smith said. “I’m not one to talk about the refs, but 20 attempts to six — that’s huge. Let the girls play.”
Taylor Morris led Northridge with 14 points and Ellie Fisher added nine.
Paityn Williams had double digits for Syracuse with 11 points and Rainee Schenck netted nine.
“After that 16-point first quarter, I kind of got after the girls a little bit because that’s not us,” Syracuse coach Braden Hamblin said. “We pride ourselves on defense and we made a commitment to the zone and it kind of slowed them down. We got into the passing lanes and got some transition buckets, then the offense helped as well.
“We have a lot of young players; they’re a good group and Andie proved she can handle the moment,” he said.