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Duke 68, Syracuse 46: Orange offense sputters in ACC Tournament loss

SU women’s basketball could’ve used a win. It didn’t happen.

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

While the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team owns a few big wins on the season, they’d struggled with top-15 caliber squads all year. That was the case once again in Friday’s ACC Tournament Quarterfinals matchup vs. Duke. SU lost, 68-46, in a game where the offense never really got going.

Syracuse scored just 26 points in the first half, but found itself down by just three at the break. But in the second, the Blue Devils distanced themselves by way of better shooting and rebounding to pull off the 22-point victory.

The Orange typically get by on volume shooting rather than accuracy, and Friday’s loss was the worst-case of that strategy. SU shot just 23 percent from the floor and 21.9 percent from three, as nothing would pass through the net all evening.

Gabby Cooper led the way for Syracuse, scoring 18 points on 6-for-17 shooting, though all six makes were from beyond the arc. Brittney Sykes was the only other Orange player to score in double figures (13 points). Alexis Peterson scored just nine points (on 4-of-21) on the night, the only time she’s failed to hit double digits all season.

Syracuse finishes the regular season at 21-10 overall and 11-5 in ACC play. Though they’ve taken their lumps against some top-ranked teams, SU does own wins over NC State, Miami and Virginia Tech.

As of today, the Orange women are slotted in as a six-seed in ESPN’s bracketology. They’d face West Virginia in round one before potentially getting a Final Four rematch with Washington in Seattle. The women’s bracket will be announced on Monday, March 13.