ACCWBB in First Round: Syracuse Handles Army

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (cuse.com) – The No. 14/15 Syracuse University women's basketball used a strong first-half performance to coast to a 73-56 victory against RV/- Army West Point in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon in the Carrier Dome. With the win, Syracuse has advanced to the second round in each of the past three seasons.

It is an all-New York second-round contest on Sunday. Syracuse (26-7), the fourth seed in the Sioux Falls Region, will take No. 12 seed Albany, who upset fifth-seeded Florida in the first contest of the day. Game time will be announced following the completion of all of Friday's games.

"We are just really happy to win the basketball game," head coach Quentin Hillsman stated. "That's the goal in the tournament, win and advance to the next game. We did that."

The Orange exploded to a 39-14 halftime advantage behind a stout defense against Army West Point (29-3). Syracuse, the nation's leader in turnovers forced per game, forced 14 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of the game. The club capitalized off the Black Knights' misfortunes, scoring 19 points off turnovers.

Thanks to a large first-half cushion, the team was able to cruise to a 17-point victory and its third straight trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Orange recorded their 26th victory of the season with the win, matching the program record.

Junior guard Alexis Peterson finished with a team-high 24 points on the day, her fifth 20-point contest of the 2015-16 season. Peterson was a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw stripe, setting a program NCAA Tournament record.

Redshirt junior guard Brittney Sykes, junior center Briana Day, and senior guard Cornelia Fondren each scored in double-figures, as Sykes notched 13 points, Day finished with 11 points, and Fondren tallied 10 points. Day recorded a double-double, pulling down 12 boards, as well.