SU women's basketball wins NCAA opener, faces UCONN Monday

STORRS, CT (WSYR-TV) - The Syracuse University women's basketball team won it's first round game in the NCAA tournament against Iowa State on Saturday, 85-65.

When asked on Friday how much the "experience factor" from last season would help his team this March, Quentin Hillsman said that sometimes it's good to be naive this time of year.  Freshman Gabby Cooper then went out and showed that she, for one, is unphased by the NCAA Tournament stage.  Cooper made five three-pointers in the first six minutes of the game. She finished with 24 points, going 8 for 15 beyond the arc.

Cooper and Brittney Sykes combined to score 26 of SU's 33 points in the first quarter as Syracuse led by 25 after 10 minutes of play.  Iowa State came into the game ranked 12th in the nation in fewest turnovers committed. 

The Cyclones only turn it over, on average, about 12 times per game.  SU forced 12 turnovers in the first half alone, racing out to a 45-24 lead at the break.

Brittney Sykes finished with a game high 28 points, 21 of those coming in the first half.  ACC Player of the Year Alexis Peterson chipped in with 25 points as the Orange can now look forward to a showdown on Monday with top-ranked UConn. 

It'll be a rematch of last year's national title game which Connecticut won 82-51.  The Lady Huskies rolled past Albany in the first game of the day at Gampel Pavilion 116-55.  UConn has now won 108 consecutive games.

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