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No. 11 Syracuse drops first game of season to Drexel, 62-61

The women’s squad gets shocked by the Dragons

NCAA Womens Basketball: Siena at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In a way, the scene following Drexel’s 62-61 victory over the No. 11 Syracuse Orange on Monday night showed just how far the program has come. Dragons fans stormed the court and went nuts as their team took down the mighty Orange. No longer are we the gritty underdog. Our women’s squad is a Goliath. And sometimes Goliath gets knocked in the head.

The SU women’s hoops squad came into the game riding high with a new No. 11 ranking in the AP Poll thanks to a 3-0 start full of blistering scoring runs. Monday was nothing like the previous games. This one was a battle from the beginning, featuring nine ties and sixteen lead changes between the two squads. The Dragons had an answer for every run, shot, and stop that Syracuse could throw at them.

In the waning moments, SU clung to a one-point lead. With 18 seconds left, SU star Alexis Peterson went to the line to shoot two. She missed the first but made the second. That miss was the space Drexel needed as Meghan Creighton, who was 7-of-10 on the night from three-point range, hit her final one of the night with eight seconds left on the clock. Down one, SU drove down the court and got a decent shot off, but it clanged off the rim and Drexel earned their upset.

Syracuse’s three-pointers just weren’t falling (7-of-25) and they were done in by poor foul shooting (8-of-18). The loss is a reminder that Coach Q’s shoot-first-shoot-later mentality hits a snag when those shots don’t fall.

Brittney Sykes led the Orange with 21 points while Peterson added 14. Bria Day grabbed 12 rebounds to go with her eight points. In last year’s win over Drexel, Day scored 26 points and SU missed that production dearly.

Syracuse is now 3-1 and has to pick up the pieces quickly as get back on the court Friday against George Washington in the Gulf Coast Showcase. Tipoff in Florida.