Syracuse upsets No. 6 North Carolina on road in ‘biggest win in program history’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] Quentin Hillsman knew he had an ace in the hole. Syracuse’s second leading scorer Brianna Butler was on the bench with four fouls. But as the Orange began to erase an 18-point second-half deficit, it was just a matter of time before No. 13 was back on the floor. And when Butler checked in with 5:39 left, she went off. The sophomore guard scored nine points in the final 3:44 and led SU (16-5, 5-3 ACC) to an improbable 78-73 comeback win over No. 6 North Carolina (17-4, 5-2 ACC) in front of 3,007 at Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill. “I would definitely say it’s the biggest win in program history,” Hillsman said. “To come on the road and beat North Carolina, who’s a great program, a program who’s always there in the Top-10 … It’s a huge win.” Butler – who was taken out at the 8:37 mark of the second half after committing her fourth foul — scored a game-high 22 points. She connected on dagger 3 pointer with 2:42 left in regulation to give SU a 72-69 lead. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I just had the hot hand at the moment,” Butler said. “I was able to get to the basket or find someone on the offensive end.“I just had to play smart defensively and offensively I just had to keep playing my game.”But it wasn’t just Butler’s heroics. Taylor Ford hit a 3 from the corner to tie the game at 65. Briana Day, who finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks, and Bria Day, who finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds, starred against the team they once planned to play for. Brittney Sykes also finished with 17 points. “She did a very good job of playing down the stretch,” Hillsman said of Butler. “I give her a lot of credit playing with four fouls in the last five and a half minutes of the game, to make the shots that she made and to put the ball on the floor, it was big for us.” North Carolina held 18-point leads twice – the first of which came with 4:14 left in the first half. At that point, Syracuse had committed 11 turnovers, and the Tar Heels held a convincing 40-22 lead.But after the break, the Orange defense locked down. Butler hit a 3 from the left corner to bring the Orange within 12 at 52-40.Everything began to go in favor of the road team. North Carolina missed two layups, traveled, was called for a 3-second violation and missed a 3-pointer on four consecutive possessions.Day set a pick and Butler hit another 3 to cut the deficit to eight at 60-52. Bria Day made a jumper to cut the UNC lead to 60-54. Peterson hit two free-throws to cut the deficit to 61-58, and moments later Fondren hit a shot to make it 61-60.Later Butler would drive into the paint and convert a layup to tie the score at 67. She hit two free-throws to tie it at 69, and hit a deep 3 to give SU a 72-69 lead. It was over from there. Sykes hit a jumper, and Butler hit another deep jumper. “We just fought and played hard,” Hillsman said. “To beat a good team like this, you need balance. We had great, great balance today.”And as Butler said after the game, now Syracuse has an enormous amount of momentum going into its home game on Sunday against No. 8 Maryland. Said Hillsman: “Coming to North Carolina, on the road, and to beat a Top-10 team is important. I mean, we understand what a road victory does to your RPI, so it was a big win.” Commentslast_img read more