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Syracuse women’s basketball: Orange alum Brittney Sykes prepares for WNBA Playoffs

Sykes’ Mystics look to knock off the New York Liberty

WNBA: New York Liberty at Washington Mystics Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 WNBA Playoffs are starting and former Syracuse Orange standout Brittney Sykes is looking to help her Washington Mystics team pull off an upset of the 2nd-seed New York Liberty.

Sykes just capped a regular season where she set Mystics records for points scored (636) and steals (84) in a season. She’s one of the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year and helped the Mystics overcome an assortment of injuries and still grab a playoff spot.

For the year, Sykes averaged 31.3 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, and 2.1 spg. Her first season in Washington has shown that she is more than just a role player at this level. Sykes had been known for defense, but when asked to carry more on the offensive end, she has delivered.

The Mystics will have a difficult challenge in making it past the Liberty and their stars Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu, but Sykes will not back back down from it.

“We’ve been through a hell of a regular season,” she told reporters postgame. “I don’t think any of us thought that this was going to happen. We didn’t know what it was going to look like. I’m just really proud of our resilience as a team.”

Game one of the series is Friday night at 7:30 at the Barclays Center and will be broadcast on ESPN2. The series stays in Brooklyn for Game two on Tuesday September 19th at 7:00 on ESPN. If necessary, Game 3 will be on Friday September 22nd in Washington.