Syracuse women's basketball tops Wake Forest on senior night

Four Orange players reach double-figures in 85-64 victory over the Demon Deacons.

The seniors stole the show scoring 65 points as the Syracuse women’s basketball team (19-9, 10-5 ACC) won 85-64 over Wake Forest (15-13, 6-9 in ACC) in its final home game of the season.

Four of the six seniors started the game and the scored the first 40 Syracuse points of the game until Gabrielle Cooper finished a put back to end the second quarter.

Despite the 85-80 loss on Sunday to No. 7 Notre Dame, the Carrier Dome crowd of 1,852 witnessed SU jump out to a 15-5 lead through steady passing and interior scoring.

Alexis Peterson led all scorers with 25 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and adding five assists. Her scoring started off quick when, in the first quarter, she crossed Amber Campbell and drove for the layup to bring the crowd to their feet.

Briana Day had 17 points, seven of them coming from the free-throw line. However, she was most dominant on the offensive glass, grabbing eight offensive and seven defensive rebounds.

Although she landed awkwardly on her ankle late in the second quarter, Brittney Sykes continued to play strong. She scored 16 points, provided five assists and had three steals, which led directly to four points.

While the Orange shot just eight of 27 from behind the 3-point line, its interior play was where they created a lot of opportunities. Syracuse finished the game with 15 offensive rebounds and 29 points off turnovers.

Being senior day, the six Syracuse seniors were recognized at the start of the game as well as throughout the evening. During breaks in the game, testimonies from players and coaches spoke about the impact that the seniors have had this season. 

The seniors supported each other off the court, too. Day from the bench called on the team to play stronger on defense at one point in the fourth quarter and encouraged them to make stops.

Following the win, Sykes grabbed a microphone and thanked the crowd for their support in the past years and continued to invite them back for future games.

This was the 94th total win by the senior class. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman acknowledged that this team has brought a lot of history to the program, including reaching the national championship game last year.

“At the end of the day, we wanted to send our seniors out with a win,” Hillsman said.

Despite this being the last scheduled home game for the Orange, Hillsman recognized the impact that the seniors have had on his coaching career.

“They made me better,” Hillsman said. “They made me a better coach, the more they improved, the more I had to try and improve and try to get them shots.” 

While the seniors have carried the team in terms of scoring this season, the effort has come from the entire team, Sykes said.

“Everyone is doing their role,” Sykes said.

Syracuse plays its final game of the regular season at Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Orange defeated Pittsburgh 93-65 on Feb. 2., where Briana Day scored a career-high 31 points.

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