SU Women's Basketball: SU vs. Miami

Syracuse women's basketball dominates No. 14 Miami at the Carrier Dome

Sykes scores 29, Peterson adds 24 to lead SU past the Hurricanes, 81-48

The Syracuse women’s basketball team upended Miami in a much-needed win on Sunday with a tenacious defensive effort and relentless speed in transition offense.

After two straight losses on the road (Georgia Tech and Florida State) SU gained a well-deserved confidence boost with an 81-48 win over No. 14 Miami (14-5, 3-4 ACC). The Orange (14-7, 5-3 ACC) received star-studded performances from Brittney Sykes — who finished with a game-high 29 points —and Alexis Peterson — who delivered 24 points — as SU earned its third win of the season against a ranked opponent.

Photo: Shuran Huang
Syracuse University women’s basketball team wins against Miami women’s basketball team with a final score of 81-48 at the Carrier Dome on January 22, 2017 at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman stressed the significance of the win and how it will benefit the team moving forward.

“First thing we spoke about going into this game was how important it was to the rest of the season,” Hillsman said. “You want to get quality wins to have on your resume when it comes NCAA tournament time and you want to finish in the top quarter in your conference.”

Syracuse came out of the gate full of energy in a 2-3 press. With the length of Sykes in the front court trapping, SU managed deflections and steals that led to early points in transition.

With the continuous attacks at the basket from Sykes and Peterson, Syracuse was able to hold onto its lead. Sykes attributed the Orange’s energy to an essential pre-game talk by Hillsman.

“Coach gave us a really encouraging speech in the locker room telling us that we just have to go out and play hard and everything else will fall in place,” Sykes said. “So, we all just believe in each other and on to the next game and it happened to be Miami at home.”

Miami stayed close, trailing by just six, 20-14, at the end of the first quarter and kept the defensive pressure up on Peterson, who was running the point. Miami forced Peterson into five turnovers.

But, Syracuse’s quickness in transition was no match for the Hurricanes’ press. Peterson sliced her way through traps in the front court and found open teammates for baskets.

“I thought in the beginning they made it really tough and the guards really committed to pressing early,” Peterson said. “But Coach Q talked about staying in attack mode, attack downhill, don’t dribble sideways, go at them and be just as aggressive and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Miami was also unable to find an answer to the Orange’s high paced defense as the Hurricanes turned the ball over 23 times in the game, while Syracuse recorded 10 steals. Miami also continuously put Syracuse on the free throw line, recording 29 fouls in the contest.

Miami stayed in the game throughout the first half with strong play in the post by Emese Hof, who finished the game with 12 points and Keyona Hayes who chipped in 7 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. But, Syracuse opened the third quarter on a 19-9 run to pull away.

Syracuse will return to action on Sunday at Virginia Tech. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.