Syracuse beats N.C. State, 55-52, for its 20th win of the season

first_img Published on February 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm Contact Connor: | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+ Cornelia Fondren dished the ball to an open Alexis Peterson behind the arc, who emerged from a fray of N.C. State defenders.Peterson sank the 3 and then swished in another on SU’s next possession to rescue the Orange from a deficit as the final ticks dribbled off the clock. She capped off her eight-point fourth-quarter run with a pair of free throws to put Syracuse up for good.“Your mentality has to be in attack mode and to want to take big shots, and Alexis wants to do that,” Hillsman said. “Anytime she gets into the corner or into the paint, it’s always a good shot for us.”After shooting 23 percent from the field in the first half, the Orange (20-6, 10-3 Atlantic Coast) rebounded in the game’s latter 20 minutes to narrowly top the Wolfpack (17-9, 8-5), 55-52, in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon.Before Peterson’s late heroics, Briana Day notched her sixth double-double of the season with a 10-point third quarter that Syracuse entered down by six. Her final basket of the frame put SU up, 35-34, and came on the heels of her ninth rebound off a long missed 3 from Butler.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDay’s amid of a season-best stretch of games, with 30 rebounds and 47 points in the Orange’s last three games.“Every shot she didn’t block, she changed,” Hillsman said of Day.She paved the way for what played out in the game’s final stanza, and cemented her double-double with a rebound off of an errant layup by N.C. State’s Jennifer Mathurin.Butler then weaved her way down the court and Day fed her a long pass about half the distance of the court. The NCAA’s active 3-point leader pulled up from long range and sunk one of her three 3s in the contest, this one putting SU up 40-37.But the 5-foot-11 Butler was handicapped on defense with four fouls, and in part allowed the Wolfpack to better pick apart SU’s zone and drive the paint in the fourth quarter.“We gotta keep our team on the floor,” Hillsman said. “We have to play a little bit smarter.”N.C. State forward Chelsea Nelson penetrated Syracuse’s counterattack and laid in a basket to knot the score at 45 with 5:40 remaining. A pair of free throws from the Wolfpack’s Dominique Wilson and Miah Spencer stretched out a four-point advantage over SU.Peterson took over the game from there and began her eight-point run. She led the Orange with 16 points in another second-half push, one that might’ve been strong enough to start penciling games into March.“It was huge,” Hillsman said of the win. “… Normally in our conference, 10 (wins) is enough to get into the NCAA tournament. So we said we wanted to get to 10 and start counting from there.” Commentslast_img

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