Sykes, Slim lead Syracuse past Niagara

first_img Published on December 19, 2013 at 11:43 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] As Syracuse looks to secure its place as a Top-25 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, every game is crucial.On Thursday night in the Carrier Dome, the Orange (10-1) took care of business against Niagara (2-6), routing the Purple Eagles 80-44 in front of 240 fans. Guard Britney Sykes led the Orange with 20 points while guard Isabella Slim scored a career-high 17 points with five 3-pointers.“Overall just really happy with the win, (and) really happy with the balance,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said during the postgame press conference. “I was really happy that we could spread some minutes out tonight and just wanted to get through this game and play well and win.”From the beginning of the game, Syracuse established itself as the superior team. The Orange opened the game with a lethal shooting display from beyond the arc, hitting five 3-pointers during a 28-8 run.Point guard Rachel Coffey made three 3s in a  span of 2:40. Slim made her first 3 of the night during the stretch, and La’Shay Taft came off the bench and hit a 3 as well.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNiagara forward Val McQuade and guard Chanel Johnson kept the score relatively close in the early going. Johnson scored the team’s first four points and McQuade drained two 3-pointers in the first half, leading all Niagara scorers with eight first-half points.Syracuse, though, was its own worst enemy early in the game. The Orange shot 40.6 percent in the first half but missed 12 shots in the first 10 minutes.But as the Purple Eagles continued to miss shots, the Orange began knocking them down.Slim hit another 3, one of the team’s seven in the first half, to extend the lead to 33-10. Forward Phylesha Bullard hit a jumper, followed by four points from Sykes and a 3-pointer from forward Taylor Ford.Niagara coach Kendra Faustin substituted her entire lineup five times during the first half, but the Orange rolled with the punches. At the half, SU led 44-23.In the second half, SU continued its brilliant shooting. Slim opened the half with yet another 3. Although she missed six shots in the opening 10 minutes, center Shakeya Leary found her touch in the second half, scoring six quick points in just over a three-minute span.Slim hit another 3 with 11:17 remaining, and to bookend the second half and put an exclamation point on the best night of her young career, hit a 3 with 41 seconds left.Slim said at the postgame press conference that she was given the same shots she’s had in previous games, but tonight they were just falling.“She’s a shooter,” Hillsman said. “I thought our team did a very good job at getting her looks . They did an excellent job of finding her when she was open. … She really did a good job of taking shots with confidence.”The victory puts Syracuse at 10-1 for the third time in the last four seasons, and fifth time overall. The victory also extends SU’s non-conference home winning streak to 59 games, dating back to the 2006-07 season. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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