On Saturday, November 27th the Syracuse Orange took on Washington in a neutral site showdown at the South Point Shootout. Washington has received votes in both the AP and coaches poll this season, but is unranked. The Washington Huskies were an NCAA tournament team last season, and look to make the tournament again. Syracuse evaded a 4th quarter comeback from Washington to win the first game 66-62.
Despite being outshot from the field 29% to 36%, the Orange were able to hang on by limiting turnovers on offense, and forcing turnovers on defense. The Orange forced 19 turnovers, turning it over themselves only eight times.
The Orange had three players score in the double digits; Brianna Butler with 17, Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson both scoring 12. Alexis Peterson also lead the team in rebounds with eight and assists with six.
The Orange got off to a great start in the first quarter defensively, leading 15-6. The next two quarters the Orange cruised, outscoring the Huskies 37-32. The fourth quarter is when things got shaky, as the Huskies were able to cut the lead from 14 to 1 at 3:47 left to play. The Orange were able to hang on and win due to some great scoring opportunities along with a strong defensive effort.
The second game of the South Point Shootout was against familiar foe - Fordham. The Fordham Rams made the WNIT (Women's National Invitational Tournament) last season, but have struggled so far this season. Syracuse won comfortably 76-54.
Alexis Peterson led the way with 25 points, eight assists, and five steals. She played the most minutes of any Syracuse player with 35, yet turned the ball over only two times. Peterson really filled up the stat sheet, shooting 81% from the field. If she continues to have outstanding games like this, Syracuse fans can exhale, and watch great things happen.
The Syracuse Orange travel to the Xfinity Center at College Park, Maryland for their next game. They will take on the highly touted Maryland Terrapins in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, December 2nd. Historically, the Orange have been 1-1 in this event, losing to Iowa in 2013, and winning against Penn State in 2014. Last Season the Big Ten/ACC challenge was an even tie. However, the Big Ten has never won the challenge before.