Brittney Sykes’ double-double leads Syracuse in 95-63 blowout of Central Connecticut State

first_img Published on December 4, 2016 at 4:12 pm Contact Tomer: tdlanger@syr.edu | @tomer_langer On Central Connecticut’s second possession of the game, the ball was in the corner in front of the Syracuse bench. Briana Day had to step out from the center of the zone to guard the player there after that side of the court had been overloaded.As the Blue Devils’ Giocelis Reynoso tried to swing the ball down to the paint, Sykes rotated over from the weak side and knocked the ball away. She started running out in transition, finding Alexis Peterson ahead of her. Peterson kicked it right back to Sykes, who stepped into a pull-up jumper.It was indicative of just a small portion of what Sykes would do the rest of the way, as she spent the entire game stuffing the stat sheet for the Orange. When she wasn’t stealing passes (five) or scoring points (26) she was flying in for rebounds (14), on both ends of the court. She shined in No. 20 Syracuse’s (6-3) 95-63 blowout victory over Central Connecticut (1-6) on Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.“It’s great when she can have an all-around complete game, you want that kind of balance from your players,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “She’s doing a good job of maintaining her aggressiveness in these games but she’s playing under control.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textColin Davy | Staff PhotographerSykes wreaked havoc on the offensive glass, and managed to create after that. On multiple occasions, she went right back up after a rebound to create points for herself. She sprinkled in four assists on the night, and two of those came on kick outs to Peterson for a 3-pointer after an offensive board.One thing that worked well for the Orange all game was executing on baseline out-of-bounds sets. In the second half, Sykes started leaving her fingerprints out of those sets. The first two times SU ran one of them in the third quarter, the ball was lobbed to Sykes, who skied through the middle of the court and laid in an alley-oop. The third time, Syracuse tried the same play. Sykes missed the shot, got her own rebound and put it back in for an and-1.“She’s a great player and has the ability to do so many things on the floor,” Central Connecticut head coach Beryl Piper said. “A couple of times on out of bounds plays, just her athleticism jumping over the top of us and her scoring easy baskets on that … it’s tough for us.”“It’s always fun catching those teams (by surprise),” Sykes said. “You think they’d catch on by now but it never happens.”Colin Davy | Staff PhotographerWhen the Blue Devils crashed the paint, Sykes was ready to hit from outside. Late in the second quarter she spotted up on the left wing. The Orange and Blue Devils were overloaded on the right side. Desiree Elmore got the ball on the high post, with her back to Sykes. Sykes was crouching, hands in motion calling for the pass. When she got it she rose up and drained a 3-pointer. It was one of two 3s she added to her line.There were some off moments for Sykes, as she had five turnovers in the game, sometimes coming off a rebound or steal in which she tried to throw a lead pass through traffic.But the good vastly outweighed the bad for her on Sunday. Midway through the third quarter, one of those turnovers came when she was called for traveling. She pressured the ensuing play, stealing the ball from Central Connecticut’s Aleah Epps right under the basket. She passed it to Chelayne Bailey, who missed a layup. Sykes got the rebound and put it back in.By the end of the third quarter, she had already scored 23 points and racked up a double-double. She didn’t play too much in the fourth quarter, but her multi-faceted performance had already secured a win for her team.“My biggest thing is to just be efficient,” Sykes said. “… It’s never just for me, it’s always something bigger.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more