Brittney Sykes Powers Syracuse Orange Past North Carolina Tar Heels

The Syracuse Orange women blew out North Carolina in the Carrier Dome.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Brittney Sykes scored a career-high 34 points – the third-most points by a Syracuse women’s basketball player in the Carrier Dome – as the Orange cruise to a 95-64 win over North Carolina to extend its home winning streak to 18 on Sunday afternoon. 

“We played fast, got the ball up and down the floor, got into the paint… that’s important for us to make sure we play in the paint, play the game inside out,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said.

No.20 Syracuse improved 18-8 on the season and North Carolina dropped to 13-12.

North Carolina’s young team hung around with the Orange at the start of the game, even taking an 8-7 lead with 5:27 to go in the first quarter. However, Syracuse’s offense was too much for the Tar Heels. After Syracuse took an 11-8 lead, the Orange went on a 20-6 run to end the first quarter. 

After Syracuse took a 43-26 advantage at the break, the Tar Heels opened the second half on an 11-1 run to pull within 12. But once again, Syracuse’s tough press disrupted North Carolina’s offensive rhythm.

“We’re young and experienced back there, we made [their press] look good,” Tar Heels head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “You look at the teams they played – Duke the other night, some of the other teams that have not had problems with their press. Those are the teams that had veteran players… it was good, we probably made it look even better.”

North Carolina faced the top-scoring backcourt in the nation, but Hatchell attributed Syracuse’s win largely to the Orange’s experience.

Seniors Alexis Peterson (27 points), Briana Day (19 points) and Sykes all combined for 80 of Syracuse’s 95 points.

“Anytime we can get our big three scoring and affecting the game like that, we are going to have a good game,” Hillsman said. 

Syracuse will have a week off before facing perhaps its biggest game of the season against No.7 Notre Dame at the Carrier Dome next Sunday.

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