It was a dominating week for the Lady Orange, and if you look only at the stats, you would probably think they came away with two wins this week. But after allowing a furious fourth quarter comeback to North Carolina, eventually losing 77-73, Syracuse took out their frustrations on Virginia Tech in a 60-39 drubbing.
The Orange dismantled the Tar Heels through three quarters, controlling every aspect of the game, but after pulling within six to start the final period, North Carolina outscored the Orange 25-15 to come away with a come from behind win. Syracuse wasn't about to let Virginia Tech do the same thing, so they kept a foot on the gas against the Hokies to improve to 12-4, 2-1 in the ACC.
The Orange, who always shoot a ton of threes, struggled from distance as a team, connecting on only 17-67 (25.4%). With a size advantage over most ACC teams Syracuse should probably try to work the ball inside more, not only to become more two-dimensional, but also to create open shots on the wing because they force teams to cover the post more than they do.
Highlights of the Week
Alexis Peterson: 38 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, 72 minutes
Wow has Peterson been on fire as ACC play has started up. In conference play she is putting up 18.3 points, 8.6 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals a game, all while playing over 36 minutes a contest. She has really been the shining force behind this Orange team and kept them in games and pushed them to wins. If this type of play continues, she would have to be at least in consideration for ACC player of the year. Not only does she play out of her mind, she's making her teammates better too, consistently finding them for open looks.
Briana Day: 25 points, 15 rebounds, 10 offensive rebounds, 5 blocks, 2 assists, 2 steals, 51 minutes
Day is the force in the middle I wrote about earlier that should be used more. She's one of the tallest players in the league and has some polished post moves that can get around other players and is a great rebounder, proven by the 10 offensive boards she grabbed this week, six of which came against the Tar Heels. Her one major flaw is the tendency to foul a lot. She has only fouled out of one game this year (against North Carolina), but she does pick up some silly fouls that hurt the team. Once she cleans that up, she could be a real gem for the Orange.
Lowlight of the Week
Brianna Butler: 27 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 7 three-pointers, 54 minutes
Scoring 27 points in a week, knocking down a season-high five threes in a game, and grabbing 15 boards as a guard doesn't sound like a bad week. And looking at those bare statistics, it wasn't for the Orange's career three-point leader. But Butler wasn't very effecient at all with her shot. She was just 10-35 from the field, 7-27 from three. Against North Carolina, she started out HOT, knocking down four threes before halftime. But after that, she couldn't hit anything, going just 3-15 the rest of the week. Much like Trevor Cooney for the men, Butler is a streaky shooter. Once she gets her shot back, she'll be someone to look out for that can win a few games just with her shot.
The Orange host former Big East rival Pittsburgh in an ACC showdown on Thursday before traveling down to Winston-Salem, North Carolina a day after the men to take on Wake Forest.