Alexis Peterson adapts to what Syracuse needs in 60-39 win against Virginia Tech

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 10, 2016 at 6:08 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Cornelia Fondren threw a pass in transition toward Briana Day and Maggie Morrison, who were both charging toward the basket. But the ball flew in between them and out of bounds.Fondren clapped her hands together, brought them toward her face and grimaced. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman spun around, pointed to starting point guard Alexis Peterson and directed her to take out Fondren four minutes into the third quarter.The Orange had relied on Peterson scoring until that point, but as the game slogged on, she managed SU’s (12-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) offense and helped it ride out a 60-39 win over Virginia Tech (13-3, 1-2) on Sunday afternoon in the Carrier Dome.“She did a very good job running the show,” Hillsman said. “She had her offense when we needed her to have offense. She did a very good job of being solid.”Syracuse had its second-worst shooting performance of the season against the Hokies, but Peterson’s steady play helped the Orange get out to an 11-point halftime lead and maintain a double-digit cushion the rest of the way. She finished with 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting, seven assists and two turnovers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textVirginia Tech’s Vanessa Panousis carried the ball up the court with a minute left in the first quarter while Peterson stood along the opposite sideline in SU’s press. Panousis attempted a pass toward the middle, but Peterson crept toward it.She lifted her right hand up as both feet left the ground, elevating above the nearest Hokies player and snagging it out of the air. After shifting her body toward the offensive end, she laid in a basket with no one else in front of her.“She’s just a real smart point guard,” Virginia Tech head coach Dennis Wolff said, “so she takes advantage of every situation.”Two and a half minutes into the second quarter, Peterson took a couple quick dribbles into the key and past her defender. As no VT players collapsed on her, Peterson’s high-arcing jumper swished through the basket.Four minutes later, Peterson hit a corner 3 as the Orange broke open the game for good on a 9-0 run and she had 12 of SU’s first 24 points.“She was unstoppable,” Day said.At halftime, no one else on Syracuse had made more than one field goal while Peterson had 12 points.Peterson shared the ball and set teammates up to score more recently. She leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio and averaged 8.5 assists in the four previous games entering Sunday.Already with a comfortable lead, Hillsman called for more half-court sets in the last 20 minutes. Peterson would wait for the shot clock to wind down as she dribbled beyond the 3-point line. Her scoring slowed down, shooting 2-of-9 in the second half, but Syracuse forced total 29 turnovers and just had to milk the clock to secure the win.“If I let her go every possession, she would shoot the whole game,” Hillsman said.As Peterson’s misses began piling up with a minute left in the third, she bent over in frustration and clapped her hands above her shoelaces. The scoring dominance Peterson showed in the first half didn’t exist in the second.But Peterson didn’t have to score for the Orange to “shrink the game and get out of here,” Hillsman said. She played 35 minutes and was SU’s only player to play more than 29.Though the game shifted midway through, Peterson ran the show throughout.“She’s an intelligent point guard,” Hillsman said, “and I told her to just take care of the ball and we’ll be OK in the second half.”With the ball in Peterson’s hands, Syracuse was OK. Commentslast_img

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