GREENSBORO, N.C. -- On an afternoon where Syracuse’s normally reliable outside shooting failed them, the Orange scored 22 points off of 17 offensive rebounds to survive their matchup with 13 seed Clemson in the ACC Tournament. Clemson, coming off an impressive first round victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday again got big games from Nikki Dixon and Nyilah Jamison-Myers but it wasn’t enough to advance.
Part of the Syracuse advantage came from its bench, as 11 different players checked into the game for the Orange. In contrast, the Tigers have played all season with a much smaller rotation. Today’s seven-player attack simply wore down after playing a ton of minutes on Wednesday.
"As far as our team, it was about waking up this morning and trying," Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. "I didn’t care how we got it, I just wanted to get it."
The fifth-seeded Orange now advance to play four seed N.C. State. Syracuse should provide quite a challenge for the Wolfpack, considering how aggressively they like to trap and how well they shoot from distance. To win, the Orange will have to have a better effort than the 23-58 performance they had today from the floor.
Syracuse was led by Brittney Sykes’ 10 points and had three players with nine points apiece. Dixon and Jamison-Myers each had 15 points for the Tigers, who go into the offseason a much better unit than they were at this time a year ago.