Women's Basketball

Syracuse advances to quarterfinals of ACC tournament with 83-64 victory over North Carolina

Colin Davy | Asst. Photo Editor

Brittney Sykes and the Orange beat North Carolina for the second time this season.

Alexis Peterson’s 29 points led sixth-seeded Syracuse (21-9, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) to an 83-64 victory over North Carolina Thursday night at the HTC Center in Conway, South Carolina. With the ACC Tournament second round win, the Orange will advance to face third-seeded Duke on Friday at 8 p.m.

Eleven 3-pointers, 32 points in the paint and 27 points off turnovers helped Syracuse spring out to a 30-23 lead. By the end of the third quarter, SU commanded a 25-point advantage. The Orange’s 32 second-chance points is its highest total since Dec. 4 against Central Connecticut State, a 21-game span.

“We had to rebound the ball,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We really did a good job of crashing the boards and getting opportunities, second-chance opportunities and we were really aggressive.”

Peterson, who was named this week the ACC Player of the Year, added six assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Brittney Sykes scored 16 points and had 12 rebounds while senior center Briana Day scored 11 points and had a game-high 15 boards. Senior forward Isabella Slim scored nine points on 3-of-7 from the floor, the most she has scored since Jan. 8.

Tip between the Orange and Blue Devils is set for Friday at 8 p.m. On Feb. 10, then-No. 14 Blue Devils handed Syracuse a 72-55 loss in Durham. In that meeting, Peterson and Sykes were held to a combined 30 points. SU committed 15 turnovers, shot only 25.4 percent from the field and got out-rebounded by nine. Duke’s 44 paint points were the most SU has allowed since December 2015.

“They attacked us in transition and when you don’t score, you can’t press, and that was big for us because we didn’t make enough shots,” Hillsman said. “We couldn’t get into our pressure. Hopefully we can get some shots to go in early and be able to press them.”

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