GREENSBORO, N.C. – Competing in the program's first Atlantic Coast Conference title game, the No. 17 Syracuse women's basketball team fell to No. 2 Notre Dame, 68-57 in the Greensboro Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
"I thought our kids really fought hard. When you play against a great team, you've got to give great effort," head coach Quentin Hillsman said. "These kids competed at a really high level and we've got a lot of basketball left."
The Orange (25-7) and the Fighting Irish (31-1) came ready to play. Trading punches in the first quarter, senior guard Brianna Butler struck first for Syracuse with a triple. Notre Dame's Kathryn Westbeld notched eight, giving the Fighting Irish the advantage. The Orange couldn't get the ball to fall their way in the first half of play and trailed 42-30 at halftime.
Syracuse came out of the locker room hungry and junior center Briana Day notched three early to get the half going for the Orange, bringing them back within nine. Despite trailing by 18 in the fourth quarter, Syracuse never quit. Peterson led the way with 19 points on the day, but it wasn't enough and the Orange fell, 68-57.
Peterson averaged 18.7 points in the tournament for the Orange, who defeated NC State in the quarterfinals and No. 7/6 Louisville in the semifinals to compete in the title game. Peterson led the Syracuse in scoring in those contests as well. This performance landed her a spot on the ACC All-Tournament First Team.
Senior guard Cornelia Fondren was honored on the ACC All-Tournament second team following a double-double and 18-point performance against Louisville in the semifinal game, tying her career highs in points and rebounds.
The Orange await their fate on Selection Monday to see where they will land in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Tournament. The selection show will be televised on Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.