Syracuse women advance to the Final Four!

SU women’s basketball team takes down No. 7 Tennessee, 89-67

Syracuse used a similar formula to beat Tennessee as it used to beat South Carolina on Friday. After a back and forth first quarter, SU went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter to go up 33-26 and never looked back from there. ‘Cuse entered the half up by 6, 41-35.

SU played good defense and connected on a bunch of three-pointers to put the Lady Volunteers away in the second half. Maggie Morrison came off the bench to hit two three-pointers near the end of the third quarter, and the second one put the Orange up 10. The bench provided Syracuse with a boost and contributed 15 points in just the third quarter. Reserve Cornelia Fondren made all of her six shots in the contest.

Then the guards, Butler, Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes, took over for the Orange. Peterson stole the show with 29 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. She was unstoppable all game long, scoring in the paint and from behind the arc. Brianna Butler stayed hot for ‘Cuse, hitting two three-pointers on consecutive possessions early in the fourth quarter to stop a Tennessee run and push the lead back to 10. Butler drilled a deep 3, her sixth of the game, to put SU up 76-61 with less than 7 minutes to go. She finished with 18 points on 6 three-pointers. Sykes was 4-4 from the free throw line and added 9 points and 5 boards.

The Orange shot more than 46% from long range as a team, making 14 threes in the game. Tennessee missed some free throws and turned the ball over too often down the stretch, finishing the game with 21 turnovers compared to just 7 for Syracuse. SU kept the pressure on the Lady Vols for the entire game and took them out of their comfort zone. Eventually the pressure was too much and Syracuse just ran away with the game in the fourth.

Alexis Peterson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Sioux Falls region. Butler and Fondren joined Peterson on the All-Regional team. The Orange moves on to face 7-seeded Washington in the Final Four next Sunday in Indianapolis.

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