Syracuse put up a great fight against No. 4 Tennessee in Knoxville yesterday, losing in the final minutes to a very good team, 57-55. Junior Guard, Alexis Peterson, led all scorers with 19 points. She also added seven rebounds in an outstanding effort. However the Syracuse Orange was unable to score down the stretch, missing eight shots and two free throws in the final 4 minutes.
On a more positive note, Brittney Sykes looked like her old self. She also does not seem to be on a minutes limit this year. In just her 2nd game back since her ACL tear last season, Sykes played 37 minutes and notched 13 points. Her best play of the game was a steal with 12 seconds left in the game, and getting to the free throw line after the steal. With only six seconds left, and down by two, Sykes missed both free throws, the second intentionally, with the hopes of rebounding the ball. Alas, Tennessee rebounded the intentional missed free throw, essentially ending the game.
Brianna Butler scored 10 points off a 4-19 shooting performance. If the Orange are going to compete against some of the best teams in the nation, we will need Butler to shoot better. As a whole, the team shot 8-32 from 3 point territory, going a low 25%. Three point shooting is definitely going to be an area that needs improvement this season in close games.
Another area in desperate need of improvement is limiting points in the paint. Syracuse allowed 46 points in the paint to Tennessee, scoring only 18 points in the paint themselves. This huge discrepancy may cause problems for the Orange if not addressed.
Syracuse's next game is on Monday, November 23 vs. Morgan State. It is the home opener, as the Orange look to start the season 2-1.