Over 11 month ago, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball season ended with a 30-point loss to the top-ranked Connecticut Huskies. On Monday night, the same held true in the rematch. Syracuse fell, 95-65 in the second round NCAA Tournament matchup in Storrs, Conn.
Just like last time, UConn started out hot from the floor and just kept it going. The Orange, on the other hand, simply couldn’t hit enough shots to keep up. Brutally efficient as always, the Huskies shot over 62 percent from the floor, including Kia Nurse, Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier going a combined 27-for-35.
SU, on the other hand, hit just 43.3 percent of 60 shots from the field. They were 8-of-20 from three, but simply could not get to the free throw line and failed to beat UConn on the boards. The Orange won the turnover battle by one, but again -- far from enough to beat the spot-on shooting from Connecticut, who had three players score 20 or more.
In her final collegiate game, ACC Women’s Player of the Year Alexis Peterson made it count, leading Syracuse with 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Fellow seniors Briana Day and Brittney Sykes also chipped in with 13 and 15 points, respectively. However, no other Orange player hit double digits (Gabby Cooper was the closest, with nine).
It’s a crushing loss, even if an expected one for SU. A year after a surprise Final Four berth, their season ends in the second round. They’ll graduate quite a few important seniors, which makes next season all the more exciting and frightening all at once.
Congrats to Coach Hillsman and the team on a job well done this year. And good luck to those seniors in the upcoming WNBA Draft, too.