In Syracuse's 85-75 win against No.23 North Carolina State on Thursday, Alexis Peterson did what no Syracuse Player – men or women – has ever done. Not national championship winner, Carmelo Anthony, not Bruce Pearl. No one.
Peterson scored 45 points, the most points scored by a Syracuse player at the Carrier Dome. The second most is Gene Waldron with 40 points.
“That’s a huge honor," Peterson said. "You know, there’s been some great players here at Syracuse, to be mentioned amongst those top players is something that I’ll appreciate forever.”
Before the game, Peterson ranked 6th nationally and first in the ACC with 22.7 points per game. Wolfpack's head coach Wes Moore called himself an "idiot" for his team’s inability to contain Peterson. It was not without effort, though. NC State tried to trap Peterson, attack her with two players and attempted to keep the ball out of her hands, but to no avail.
“She did a great job keeping her dribble,” Moore said. “You know, when you trap her she’d find a way to weasel out of it and most of the time get fouled, which again to her credit [she] knocked down her free throws.”
Peterson knocked down 17 free throws on 19 attempts – the most in program history.
“We talk about playing our role and tonight it happened to be my night,” Peterson said.
Peterson had 17 points at halftime. In the fourth quarter when the Orange outscored the Wolfpack 31-13, Peterson scored 21. She went a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 13-for-14 from the charity stripe.
“It’s not many point guards in the country who can do what she do,” Brittney Sykes said. “And to have that in a player and as a teammate, it was great to watch.”
When asked if she was the best player in the country, Peterson laughed and said what we all already know: “We’re the best backcourt in the country.”
Entering Thursday’s contest, the duo of Peterson and Sykes was averaging a country-best 41.8 points a game. Tonight they combined for 62.
Where does coach Hillsman rank this performance by Peterson? “Number one. The best I’ve ever seen her play,” he said.