The Syracuse Orange picked up a much needed win against a ranked foe Monday night against Miami. The Orange finally pulled away from Miami on one of the last possessions of the game. Syracuse got two offensive rebounds (one by Cornelia Fondren, the other by Briana Day) and was able to score on a Briana Day layup to take a two-point lead with 45 seconds left. From that score on, it was a free throw battle that Syracuse safely won 57-51.
Syracuse moves to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the ACC. The defense has kept SU in close games all season, despite some games with poor shooting performances. Syracuse forced 26 turnovers against Miami. 20 something turnovers forced a game is starting to feel like the norm for this Syracuse team, which is quite remarkable. The full court trap defensive sets Syracuse has run all year with active hands has stifled so many offenses and come up with plenty of turnovers.
Shooting was again Syracuse's weakest area of the game. The Orange shot 28.6% from the field and 14.8% from 3-point territory. Poor shooting percentages have hurt the Orange in the past, but solid defense and turnover-forcing helped Syracuse win.
Alexis Peterson was the player of the game for the Orange. She missed her first game of the season on Wednesday, against Boston College due to a wrist injury sustained against Louisville. She has been one of Syracuse's best players all year. She led the team in scoring with 16 points and in steals with four. She also grabbed three boards and dished three assists. Syracuse is a much better team with Peterson on the floor.
The Orange return to the Carrier Dome on Thursday, February 4th to take on Clemson. The game is at 7 pm and will be broadcasted on TimeWarner Sports Channel.