GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Despite producing 11 points less than its season scoring average, the fifth-seeded Syracuse Orange held off the upset-minded, 12th-seeded Clemson Tigers, 63-53.
In its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament victory, the Orange used a total team effort in the victory, as 10 players scored at least one point, led by a team-high 10 from sophomore guard Brittney Sykes in Thursday's second-round game at the Greensboro Coliseum. Syracuse advances to face NC State in Friday's 11 a.m. quarterfinal game.
The first half opened with the Clemson and Syracuse trading blows back and forth, as the opening stanza saw a total of 10 lead changes and three ties.
The Orange finally settled into an offensive groove with a little more than six minutes remaining in the first half, as it gained a lead that it would not relinquish the rest of the way after a layup by Alexis Peterson made it 18-17.
Heading into the half, Syracuse held a three-point advantage that was built mainly on the depth of its scoring punch. In total, the Orange's bench produced 18 first-half points, led by nine points from La'Shay Taft.
In the second half, Syracuse continued its strong play, as it held the Tigers to 26 points on 10-of-26 shooting (.385 percent) from the field and just 1-of-8 (.125 percent) from behind the arc. The Orange's lead would swell to as many 13 points with 2:10 remaining in the contest.
Junior guard Nikki Dixon and sophomore forward Nyilah Jamison-Myers scored game-highs in points with 15 apiece for the Tigers.
With the victory, Syracuse moved its season ledger to 22-8 overall, marking the fifth-straight season that the Orange has won 22 or more games.
The loss brings Clemson's season to an end at 13-19 overall.