Syracuse played their hearts out en route to defeating highly-ranked Florida State on Senior Night. #10 Florida State is the
first fourth AP Top-10 team that Syracuse has ever defeated. The seniors came through on what is likely to be their final game in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse shot 36% from 3-point territory to lift the Orange to steady 83-73 win. SU improves to 21-6 overall and 11-3 in the ACC. They are currently the 4th seed in the ACC but stand only half a game outside of third place, under Florida State. Syracuse has now won seven straight games, all in the ACC.
Brittney Sykes was honored with the five other seniors before the game, even though she is technically a redshirt-junior. The reasoning for this is that Sykes requested to be honored with the other players, like Butler, Ford, and Fondren that she was recruited with. Sykes is unsure whether or not she will return to Syracuse next season or enter the WNBA Draft. She is yet to make up her mind partially due to this talented WNBA draft class. Sykes might fair better as a prospect going into next year's WNBA draft.
Syracuse played masterfully, due to the on-court abilities and leadership of the seniors. Brianna Butler scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds. Brittney Sykes scored 15 points and added three boards. Taylor Ford had her best night of the season. She caught fire from outside the arc, hitting her first her first four shots, and making one more. In total, Ford shot 5-7 from 3-point territory. Prior to Thursday's game, Ford had made only 13 triples all season. Cornelia Fondren flirted with a triple-double, per usual, with nine points, seven rebounds, five assists and six steals. Maggie Morrison went 1-2 from behind the arc, putting up three points.
As a class, the seniors scored 58 points or produced 69% of all points scored by Syracuse. On average, the seniors tend to contribute to 40% of the team's total scoring. It is clear that the seniors were fired up on what is likely their last big day in the dome.
Syracuse's next test is at Pitt. The game is on Sunday, February 21st at 3 pm. It will be televised via RSN. Syracuse's first matchup against Pitt went quite well for the Orange, winning 71-48 at home. Pitt is 12-14 overall and 4-9 in the ACC.