Women's Basketball

Syracuse finishes regular season ranked No. 21 in Top 25 poll

Colin Davy | Asst. Photo Editor

Brittney Sykes gears up for her final postseason run at Syracuse. The ACC tournament begins Thursday night in South Carolina.

Despite earning two victories in the final week of the regular season, Syracuse (20-9, 11-5) dropped one spot to No. 21 from No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

On Sunday, SU cruised to a 73-57 win over Pittsburgh, marking the program’s eighth straight 20-win season. The Orange won seven of its final nine regular-season games, four of which came against teams ranked in the Top 25. Syracuse finished the regular season 7-8 away from the Carrier Dome, a site it likely won’t play in again this season.

Senior point guard Alexis Peterson, redshirt senior guard Brittney Sykes and senior center Briana Day has each scored in double figures the last seven games. Against Pitt, SU tallied 19 points off turnovers but Peterson, the ACC’s leading scorer, lead the offense with 25 points for the second straight game, many of which came off of high-middle screens by Day.

Save for a four-week stretch during the middle of the season, SU has placed inside the Top 25 every week. Syracuse reached its highest-ever ranking, No. 11, in November. Since then, SU has been unranked or slotted around the No. 20 spot.

Seven ACC teams placed in the Week 17 Top 25: No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 8 Florida State, No. 13 Duke, No. 14 Louisville, No. 16 Miami, No. 17 North Carolina State and No. 21 Syracuse.

SU also locked up the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament. Last year, Syracuse got a double bye, then beat NC State and Louisville before losing to Notre Dame in the tournament championship game.

The Orange gets a single bye in this year’s ACC tournament. It takes the floor Thursday at 8 p.m. in Conway, South Carolina, against the winner of 14th-seeded North Carolina and 11th-seeded Pittsburgh. SU has handily beaten both teams this season. Should the Orange win its first round game, it will face Duke, a team it lost to by 17 on Feb. 10. The ACC tournament will run until Sunday, March 5.

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