Syracuse sets NCAA tournament semifinal record with 12 3-pointers in win over Washington

first_img Published on April 4, 2016 at 1:05 am Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds INDIANAPOLIS — Brittney Sykes received a Snapchat from Malachi Richardson less than three hours before Syracuse took on Washington.Richardson, who threw up “3 goggles” after hitting several 3s in the men’s NCAA Tournament for SU, was watching the first semifinal between Connecticut and Oregon State and was sending his encouragement to Sykes.“I was like, ‘Listen best, I’m going to do the 3 goggles for you,’” Sykes said. “I’m going to throw them up. If I have one or two, I’m going to do it for you.’”With SU cruising and just five minutes separating it from its first-ever national championship game appearance, Sykes stood along the sideline right in front of Syracuse’s bench. Her 3-pointer pushed the Orange’s lead to 16.Sykes connected her thumb and index finger and raised them both to her eye as her other three fingers stuck straight up. She came through on her promise to to Richardson.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I just had to put it up real quick,” Sykes said of the 3 goggles.The No. 4 seed Orange (30-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) had 12 chances to celebrate a made 3 in its 80-59 blowout win over No. 7 seed Washington (26-11, 11-7 Pac-12) 80-59 on Sunday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. In its first-ever Final Four appearance, SU set a national semifinal record with 12 3-pointers and continued its improbable NCAA tournament run. Syracuse will take on No. 1 seed and three-time defending national champion Connecticut (37-0, 18-0 American Athletic) on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in the title game.Washington’s 2-3 zone was busted by seven first-half 3s and the Orange capitalized on open space along the perimeter. It even forced the Huskies to switch to a man-to-man defense. The last time SU faced a similar zone, against Albany in the Round of 32, it went 8-of-27 from deep. On Sunday, it went 12-of-33 on the biggest stage the program has ever experienced.“When you hit your first couple, it kind of opens them up for everybody else,” guard Maggie Morrison said.Already with a 15-point lead, Taylor Ford came off the bench and hit back-to-back 3s. On the first one, she was wide open off a skip pass from Morrison. On the second, a defender was so close to her that she grazed Ford’s head.But to hit that, while being so tightly guarded, is what Brianna Butler said became the turning point of the game.“Yeah, that was contested. I probably shouldn’t have shot that one,” Ford said. “But when I put it up, my wrist was like literally perfect and when it went in, I was like, ‘Whoah, yes!’”Throughout the season, head coach Quentin Hillsman said if SU hits 10 3s a game, it’ll have a good chance to win. In games it’s done that, Syracuse is 14-0.When Alexis Peterson hit a 3 late in the third quarter, she held three fingers up in the air. Time after time, players on the Orange’s bench did too. On nearly each made attempt, Hillsman held his three in the air before pacing the sideline as they hung above his head.The celebrations have become as much of a Syracuse tradition as the makes for a coach who berates players when they pass up open shots. On Sunday, the activity helped the Orange continue to make history.After Sykes threw up the 3 goggles with five minutes left, Butler set an NCAA single-season record with her 128th 3-pointer of the year. When she and the Orange came to the bench with four minutes to play, Ford yelled, “Finish strong!” in the huddle. But by that point the result was already decided. And SU’s 3-pointers went a long way in determining that.“That’s what makes us so explosive. When we’re hitting 3s, that’s what we want to do,” assistant coach Vonn Read said. “We want to make 10-12 3s a game … When we’re making shots like that, we’re tough to beat.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

FIFA’s ethics committee seeking a life ban against Michel Platini.

first_imgA formal hearing against Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter is expected to take place next month.Platini’s lawyer claims a lifetime ban is being sought against his client, a claim backed by FIFA investigatory chamber member, Vanessa Allard.last_img