Syracuse women’s basketball adds another first to list: A Final Four

Sykes

Syracuse reached the Final Four for the first time in school history

Sunday afternoon, the Syracuse women’s team used two big runs to advance to the first Final Four in program history, thumping Tennessee, 89-67. The Orange (29-7) used a 13-0 run to take a seven-point lead midway through the second quarter, then a 19-2 burst in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to put the Volunteers (22-14) to sleep. The victory is the 15th in 16 games for SU.

The first Syracuse run took less than two-and-a-half minutes. Briana Day started the streak with a lay-up, then back-to-back three-pointers by Alexis Peterson put Syracuse in front. A Cornelia Fondren lay-up gave them a four-point margin, then Brittany Sykes connected from deep for a 33-26 Orange lead.

Brianna Butler hit a pair of triples in a 26-second span to start the fourth quarter run, then later added a third to make it a 15-point SU lead. Peterson, who had scored twice earlier in the run, closed it with six straight points for an 82-61 lead with 4:12 to play.

» Related: South Carolina, poised for a deep NCAA Tournament run, halted by Syracuse

Alexis Peterson poured in 29 points to lead the Orange while Brianna Butler cashed in six three-pointers for 18 points. Cornelia Fondren added 13 points while Maggie Morrison and Brittany Sykes each chipped in with nine.

SU advances to face Washington in the Final Four. From the second round on, the Huskies have left a trail of defeated top teams in the Lexington Region, knocking out the 2-seed Maryland, the 3-seed Kentucky, and the 4-seed Stanford to advance to the national semifinals. Washington defeated Stanford on Sunday, 85-76, after jumping out to a 15-point first quarter lead.

Kelsey Plum paced the Huskies with 26 points and eight assists while Chantel Osahor dominated inside by piling up 24 points and 18 rebounds.

The Orange and Huskies will meet in the national semifinals on Sunday at 8:30pm Eastern. ESPN2 will televise the game, which can also be seen online at ESPN3.com or through the Watch ESPN app.

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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