Syracuse defeats Pittsburgh in final game of the season, 73-57
Colin Davy | Asst. Photo Editor
Alexis Peterson scored 25 points and Brittney Sykes added 21 as No. 20 Syracuse (20-9, 11-5) coasted past Pittsburgh (13-16, 4-12), 73-57, Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center. For the eighth straight season, SU has won 20 games.
The Orange, which beat Pittsburgh by 28 points in the Carrier Dome earlier this month, won seven of its last nine regular-season games, four of which came against Top 25 opponents. On Sunday against the unranked Panthers, SU shot only 37.9 percent from the field and scored only seven transition points. But Syracuse, behind a 24-point first quarter and strong fourth quarter, outrebounded Pitt 40-24.
“We got the glass and were aggressive in the paint,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We lose five seniors and we still come into the best conference in the country and find a way to win 11 games, starting a freshman.”
SU finished the regular season 7-8 away from the Carrier Dome. For the seventh straight game, Peterson, Sykes and senior center Briana Day each scored in double figures. Against Pitt, SU tallied 14 points off turnovers in the second half alone. Peterson, the ACC’s leading scorer, lead the offense with 25 points for the second straight game, many of which came off of high-middle screens by Day.
“We were very effective getting downhill off balls screens and getting into the paint,” Hillsman said. “I thought we took care of the games we needed to take care of this year. We’ve played pretty good.”
With the victory, SU locked up the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament. Last year, Syracuse got a double bye, then beat North Carolina State and Louisville before losing to Notre Dame in the tournament championship game.
The Orange gets a bye in this year’s ACC tournament quarterfinal. It takes the floor Thursday at 8 p.m. in Conway, South Carolina, against the winner of 14th-seeded North Carolina and 11th-seeded Pittsburgh. The tournament will run until Sunday, March 5.
Published on February 26, 2017 at 6:18 pm