Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Article excerpt

Syracuse pulls off stunner against South Carolina

Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman delivered a direct message to Brianna Butler at halftime.

"You've got to hit some shots," he told his star guard, "or we're going home."

Butler hit some shots, all right, and Syracuse is staying another couple of days in South Dakota after upsetting No. 1 seed South Carolina 80-72 in the Sioux Falls Regional semifinal of the women's NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

Butler scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:01 left, to send the fourth- seeded Orange to a regional final for the first time. They'll play Tennessee on Sunday.

Syracuse trailed by as many as 13 late in the first half and was still down 11 in the middle of the third quarter before coming back to stun a Gamecocks team that looked destined to make another appearance in the Final Four. South Carolina got into early foul trouble and never could finish off the Orange.

"Even though we did get the lead, we were just off," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "We were just not in sync. They did a good job at winning the game."

Alexis Peterson scored 25 points to lead the Orange (28-7), who won for the 14th time in 15 games. Brittney Sykes added 17 and Briana Day had 13 rebounds.

Alaina Coates had 18 points and 16 rebounds for South Carolina (33-2), whose only other loss was to Notre Dame. A'ja Wilson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Tina Roy added 17 points off the bench for the Gamecocks.

Butler, the NCAA active leader in career 3-pointers, had made just six of her last 35 attempts from beyond the arc coming into the game, and she got off to a slow start against the Gamecocks. Her pull-up jumper tied it at 61, and her 3-pointer gave the Orange the lead for good after Coates converted an entry pass from Tiffany Mitchell for a two-point lead. Butler's last 3-pointer made it 74- 68 with 1:11 left.

Tennessee 78, Ohio State 62 * Mercedes Russell scored a career- high 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Tennessee continued its surprising run in the women's NCAA Tournament with a victory over Ohio State in the other Sioux Falls Regional semifinal. …

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