The Syracuse University women certainly proved they are worthy of their Top 25 ranking against Niagara University.
The Purple Eagles, coming off an 11-day break, ran into a hot Orange team that won in convincing fashion, 80-44, Thursday night at the Carrier Dome.
No. 23 Syracuse (10-1), one of six nationally-ranked teams from the ACC, ran its non-conference home winning streak to 59 games, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
The Purple Eagles (2-6) defeated Robert Morris, 81-70, in their last game on Dec. 7 but faced a much bigger challenge with the Orange.
Niagara never led in the game. Val McQuade made a jumper less than four minutes into the contest that made it 8-6 before the Orange went on a dauntless 25-4 run to build a 33-10 advantage on an Isabella Slim three-pointer with 6:59 left in the half.
McQuade was the lone Purple Eagle in double figures with 11. Chanel Johnson finished with nine rebounds while Gabby Baldasare had four blocks.
The Orange had three players in double figures led by Brittney Sykes’ 20 points. Slim added 17 while draining 5 of 8 three-pointers while Shakeya Leary added 13.
Niagara plays host to the University at Buffalo on Saturday.
Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure (9-4) plays its final two non-conference games on the road starting tonight against Kent State (3-7) before heading to UNC Greensboro on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Bonnies rallied from a 10-point second half deficit with just over six minutes remaining to drop Big 4 rival UB, 76-71, in what was a career night for Chelsea Bowker.
She recorded personal highs in points (24), free-throw attempts (eight) and three-point field goals made (six). She tied her career highs in field goals made (seven) and three-point field-goal attempts (11).