It's only one week into the season, but Diamond Henderson - the Tennessee Tech transfer and Georgia native - is already looking right at home in Syracuse.
The senior scored a career-high 22 points off the bench, including going 3-3 from behind-the-arc. Henderson's performance allowed Syracuse (2-0) to overcome a 14-point deficit in the first half and beat the Duquesne Dukes, 90-84, in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
"You need two players who can come off the bench who can start for you at any minute or that could start at any program in the country and we have that," coach Quentin Hillsman said at Syracuse Media Day.
Henderson erased that first half deficit by scoring 10 points in the final eight minutes before intermission. She capped a 10-2 Orange run to end the half with a jumper just before the buzzer. It put Syracuse up 47-46, its first lead of the game.
Before the season, Quentin Hillsman praised Henderson's scoring touch, saying that it doesn't matter that she played in the mid-major Ohio Valley Conference.
"She averaged 20 points a game," Hillsman said. "I think people are going to look at the level. But 20 points in Division-I is 20 points."
The Orange and Dukes traded the lead seven times in a back-and-forth second half, until Henderson scored with 6:04 left in the game. She put back a Brianna Butler miss to give the Orange a 73-71 advantage. The Dukes immediately tied the game, but never regained the lead thereafter.
Sophomore center Briana Day scored 22 points and had 19 rebounds, both career highs. That's the most boards by a Syracuse player since 2011. Alexis Peterson added 15 points and Cornelia Fondren chipped in 12.