Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defense leads Orange to first final

INDIANAPOLIS — Alexis Peterson had 18 points and Brittney Sykes scored 17 to help Syracuse roll past Washington 80-59 in the Final Four on Sunday and into the program's first women's national championship game.

The Orange (30-7) face three-time defending champion Connecticut on Tuesday. The Huskies set a semifinal round record with a 29-point victory over Pac-12 champion Oregon State in the early game.

Syracuse, in its Final Four debut, made it look almost as easy.

Washington (26-11) was led by Talia Walton, who had 29 points and made a Final Four record eight 3-pointers. The previous record of six was done twice.

But Syracuse rode its defense and took a 23-12 lead after one quarter, extended the lead to 39-20 midway through the second quarter and never let the Huskies get within single digits again.

"Our players just did what we asked them to do," Orange coach Quentin Hillsman said. "They competed at a high level, and we were able to speed them up a couple of times when we really needed to."

The story line looked awfully familiar.

In their first meeting this season, Syracuse built a 21-point lead before Washington rallied to within one. The Orange held on for a 66-62 victory.

When Washington cut the halftime deficit to 43-31, Peterson hit a 3 to start a 9-4 spurt that made it 52-35. When the Huskies got within 11, Syracuse used a 15-2 run to make it 67-43. And when Washington closed to 72-59 midway through the fourth, Sykes and Brianna Butler made back-to-back 3s to seal it.

"I don't think they did anything they haven't been doing for the last month," Huskies coach Mike Neighbors said. "When they stretch you and spread you, then we can't rebound."

Now the Orange will try to prevent former Big East foe UConn from an unprecedented fourth straight women's title.

Defense leads Orange to first final 04/03/16 [Last modified: Sunday, April 3, 2016 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.