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Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm

WBB: Elmore Shines in Victory over Niagara

By Noah Wolfe SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse women’s basketball team notched its third consecutive win with a 109-60 blowout of Niagara.

The impressive scoring total marks the most points the Orange have scored this season, and the second most in program history.

It was yet another dominating all-around performance by Syracuse. The team led 62-19 at the half and didn’t look back from there.

In the second half, the Orange did not relent.  With the reserves playing, SU outscored Niagara 49-41, playing effective press defense throughout the remainder of the contest.

Once again, graduate guard Brittney Sykes shined for the Orange.  The Newark, N.J. native recorded a double-double by the end of the first half: she finished the game with 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, leading the team in each category.  Her strong scoring effort also launches her into the eighth spot among all-time scoring leaders in Syracuse program history.

Senior forward Bria Day had her best performance of the season, after missing the season’s first month with injury and conditioning issues.  In 21 minutes, she logged 12 points, four steals and two blocks.  The senior also knocked down six of seven free throws, foiling the Eagles’ strategy of constantly fouling her.

For freshman G/F Desiree Elmore, yesterday’s game represented a breakthrough.  The Connecticut native put up 15 points on 78 percent shooting, in 15 minutes.  The strong performance comes after a frustrating start to the season where she battled two illnesses and conditioning issues, according to head coach Quentin Hillsman.

“She came in with the potential to be great,” Hillsman said. “But she had to earn [an important role on the team], and until then, it didn’t matter what she could be.”

Elmore’s 15 points were a season high, and following the game, she had to fight back a smile while talking about her performance.

“This is what coach [Hillsman] expects from me,” she said. “Now that he knows it’s there, I have to keep playing like that.”

Elmore and the Orange will have a 10 day break before returning to the court against Old Dominion in Winter Park, Fla. at the Sunshine classic.  Tipoff is slated for 3:15 p.m.