With the scoreboard reading 52-52 at the 7:17mark of the second half, Alexis Peterson subbed into the game for the Orange.
Ten seconds later, she scored.
After ending the first half with just two points to her name, Peterson came alive in the final minutes of the game with ten points to help the Orange secure a hard-fought 68-60 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Peterson Makes the Difference
The Panthers trailed the Orange throughout the entire first half, but the final 16 minutes of play saw five ties and nine lead changes.
Once Peterson entered the game in the last seven minutes, though, the Panthers never regained the lead.
Instead, the Panthers tied the game one last time at the 6:49 mark only to go on and shoot 2-of-8 from the field and 0-2 from the foul line.
Pitt failed to make any of its last five shots in the game.
On the other side of the court, Peterson amped up her game from its sluggish start in the first half.
The sophomore guard made two jumpers before hitting a her only three-point shot of the game.
The long-range shot came after Pitt forward Monica Wignot blocked a layup by Syracuse guard Brianna Butler.
An offensive rebound gave the Orange a second chance and Peterson capitalized on the opportunity with a three-point shot that gave Syracuse a 62-56 lead with 4:36 left in the game.
After a missed jump shot, Peterson went 3-of-6 from the foul line, hitting the last two shots of the night.
Pittsburgh Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said the difference in the game came when the No. 23/22 Orange made plays when it mattered most.
“This is a frustrating loss, but that’s why [Syracuse] is where they are,” McConnell-Serio said. “Because they make plays down the stretch, they hits shots, and hit free throws when they need to or get the rebounds.”
Peterson ended the game with 14 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the field and 1-of-3 from the three-point line.
Three other players put up double-digits for the Orange, including Brianna Butler, who also had 14 points on the night.
Butler shot 5-of-14 from the field, making her most significant contribution from beyond the arc.
The junior guard went 4-of-9 from the three-point line, tying Pitt forward Monica Wignot for most three-pointers made in the game.
For the third time this season, Cornelia Fondren and Briana Day contributed duel double-doubles for the Orange, each grabbing 10 rebounds off the glass.
Fondren accounted for 13 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the field.
While Briana Day sat out for much of the first half due to foul trouble, she ended the night with 11 points, all made in the second half.
Day also had four blocks against the Panthers.
Going for a Fifth Straight Win
Syracuse improves to 14-5 on the season and 3-2 in the ACC with the win at Pittsburgh (12-6, 2-3).
Next up, the Orange host North Carolina State (12-7, 3-3) on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The game will be televised on RSN/FOX.