Add a few more points to the Orange Eagle standings.
Wednesday night, Syracuse played an outstanding end to a game that was closer than it probably should have been. Down the stretch, the Orange displayed their ability to finish games. Things were not looking too good towards the end; Boston College had possession of the ball with just 37 seconds left with the game tied. Boston College's Mariella Fasoula, who already scored 18 points, drove to the basket, taking a layup that would give BC a two-point advantage with just nine seconds remaining. Instead, Briana Day blocked Fasoula and grabbed the rebound. Following the rebound and subsequent timeout, the inbound pass for Syracuse went to Brittney Sykes, who had the hot hand up to this point. Sykes took an off balance ally-oop type of shot that bumped right off the rim. Luckily, Cornelia Fondren was right there to grab the offensive board and put another shot up. She missed the put-back but was fouled. Fondren became one of the heroes of the night when she made the first free throw. This gave Syracuse a one-point lead with only 2 seconds remaining in the game. After missing the 2nd free throw, Boston College rebounded, yet did not have enough time to even heave a last-second, desperation shot from the entire distance of the court away. Syracuse won the game 62-61.
A recurring factor this season has been starting slow for Syracuse. In the first quarter, SU found themselves down by 13. It seemed as if this game would turn into Monday's defeat against Louisville or last week's blowout at Notre Dame. However, Syracuse fought back hard to make it a competitive quarter. As halftime approached, Syracuse found their rhythm, lead by Brianna Butler who scored 20 points in the first half. Butler truly was playing some of her best basketball of the season in the first half. She found new ways to score, including driving to the basket and using the pump-fake. Butler has almost exclusively been an offensive weapon for her jump shooting, on Wednesday night, she was able to expand her game to help Syracuse win. Brianna Butler also moved up to 6th place on SU's all-time point leaders.
Briana Day had a stellar game as well. In addition to making a clutch block in the waning seconds of the game, she grabbed a season high for the team 15 rebounds. 9 of those boards were on the offensive end. Her game-saving block was especially notable due to Day being in deep foul trouble. If she had fouled Fasoula, she would have fouled out. It was a phenomenal play to help the Orange to victory.
Brittney Sykes deserves lots of praise too as she hit the 1,000 point milestone. Only 25 players in Syracuse's history have scored at least 1000 points. Sykes has returned from two separate ACL tears, making this feat even more notable. She is an inspiration to many and continues to excite on the hardwood.
Cornelia Fondren stepped up on Wednesday night too, making her first start of the season in place of an injured Alexis Peterson. Peterson hurt her right wrist on Monday against Louisville. Coach Quentin Hillsman mentioned that Peterson could have played against Boston College, but decided the rest was beneficial.
Syracuse's travels to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes on Monday, February 1st. The tip-off is at 7 pm, and can be viewed on RSN.