Every year, the Syracuse Orange women's basketball team takes another step. Unfortunately, they couldn't make a leap this year, as their season ends in the WNIT Final Four where they lost 74-71 to the James Madison Dukes. They did not go down without a fight:
The Orange (22-15) which had won four previous road games in the tourney, had a chance to tie the game, but guard Rachel Coffey missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with about four seconds left and the ball went out of bounds off teammate Elashier Hall with 0.7 seconds left in the game. JMU successfully inbounded the ball and the clock ran out as students ran onto the court to surround the Dukes.
Coach Q said that the grueling schedule and raucous JMU crowd may have played a factor:
"I think so. When you play five games in 12 days, you lose your legs a little bit," said SU head coach Quentin Hillsman. "It was tough. But we have to give JMU credit. This was an incredible atmosphere. The (JMU) band was awesome."
A somewhat disappointing regular season was saved by a thrilling post-season run as the Orange enter the off-season hoping to build off this next step. With a bigtime recruiting class that includes two McDonald's All-Americans, coming in, there are high hopes that Syracuse will be talking about an NCAA run next year.