Alexis Peterson’s calming presence seals Syracuse’s 91-65 win over Wake Forest

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Brianna Butler’s 5 3-pointers pace Syracuse in a 26-point win over Wake ForestSyracuse gets ‘gutsy’ win over Pittsburgh as bench players step up in Alexis Peterson’s absenceAlexis Peterson adapts to what Syracuse needs in 60-39 win against Virginia Tech Published on January 17, 2016 at 6:21 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3center_img WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest had chopped a 19-point deficit down to 12, and only then did Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman realize he had the wrong lineup on the court.A Demon Deacon run was spurred as Alexis Peterson, the Orange’s starting point guard sat on the bench. It was a WFU run that Hillsman blamed on himself. He called an offensive set and realized there wasn’t proper balance in his lineup.So Peterson strolled back out to the scorers table, and back in to boost the Orange to a game-saving run that answered Wake Forest’s.“I had bad personnel in the game,” Hillsman said. “That run is my run. The run they made to win the game is their run.”Peterson hit eight free throws down the stretch, finishing with 19 points for the game. After missing nearly the entire Pittsburgh win on Thursday with an illness, she led the charge in SU’s (14-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast) 91-65 victory over Wake Forest (9-9, 0-5) on Sunday afternoon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe junior guard said she only started feeling better on Saturday. She played just 28 minutes, despite averaging upward of 36 minutes in SU’s first 16 games. The final four minutes were the most important, when her entry turned a 12-point lead into a 26-point drubbing.“The game was getting hot, it was getting intense,” Peterson said. “We just kind of slowed down and played our pace and controlled the game. We were up, it was important for us to just take care of the ball.”As Peterson dribbled and spun on offense, trying to elude Wake Forest defenders with 3:17 remaining, she got hit hard and fell to the ground. Before she got up, she was jawing at the the Demon Deacon players that stood over her.She had some more words as she stood up, but never let it escalate. Instead, she went to the line and swished two free throws. Just like the two she made 39 seconds before. And just like the two she would hit 30 seconds later.When asked about the commotion, Hillsman cut her off before she could say a second word.“There are no emotions,” Hillsman said. “… Both teams were trying to play hard, we understood the urgency of getting this fourth win and I think they understood the urgency of not losing their fourth one at home. We’re not even going to get into entertaining all of that stuff. It really doesn’t matter.”Peterson didn’t get on the board until she hit a 3-pointer late in the first quarter. On the next possession, she hit a jumper. WFU head coach Jen Hoover joked that Peterson was actually held in check compared to the 33-point average she posted in the teams’ two matchups last season.But even if her 19 points didn’t stand out in the same way, her ability to control the lead when it nearly slipped away was what sealed the win.“Petey definitely brings a sense of calmness to them,” Hoover said.On Thursday, Peterson’s night ended one minute after it started, when she just couldn’t keep playing. She wasn’t there when Syracuse fell behind big and rallied to win a game that wasn’t even close.On Sunday, she finished the game on the court, and was the catalyst of that late rally.Hillsman acknowledged she should have been in earlier. In the postgame press conference though, he could joke about how it didn’t cost him.He looked at Peterson and pointed to her.“That’s the one that was missing.” Commentslast_img

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