Powered by 27 points from Alexis Peterson, Syracuse (15-5, 5-2 ACC) extended its winning streak to 5 games and defeated North Carolina State (12-8, 3-4) 66-49 at the Carrier Dome Sunday afternoon.
The Orange trailed 29-26 at the half and the offense was struggling. SU shot 7/29 in the first half, including 2/16 from 3.
In the second half, the pace picked up, and Syracuse’s offense responded by thumping NC State 23-3 by the 10:23 mark.
“I thought that we got our tempo,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “When you make baskets, you can press more. I thought that we started playing the way we need to play.”
Syracuse shot 13/25 from the field in the second 20 minutes and 6/15 from 3.
“I think we just picked up our energy, our intensity,” Peterson said. “We started getting stops and we started making some baskets.”
Peterson’s aggressive play continued after intermission. She shot 15 free throws, making 12.
“I just wanted to stay aggressive and kind of get their bigs in foul trouble,” Peterson said.
SU was aided by a near-triple-double from Briana Day. 16 rebounds highlighted her performance, which also saw 11 points and 7 blocks in 37 minutes. Hillsman said Day is starting to remind him of former Syracuse player Kayla Alexander.
“Briana Day’s there to block shots,” Hillsman said. “Briana is a little more athletic than a Kayla.”
“I was just blocking shots,” Day said. “And I didn’t foul. So that’s always awesome. And the refs were my friends again.”
The listed attendance was 1300, the second highest total for the team at the Dome this season (January 4th’s contest against Notre Dame drew over 2000.)
“When you have people coming to the games, you want to play well,” Hillsman said. “You want to do the things that you do and let them see a great basketball game. But I think for our fans that are loyal, and the ones that you see in the stands every week, I feel great for them, because they’re there. And they’ve stuck with us. And they’re there through good and bad.”