first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse’s immediate start to the game looked similar to the one it had on Sunday night. Both times, the Orange won the tip. Both times, the first shot of the game was a 3-pointer from Brittney Sykes on the left wing.Against then-No. 7 Notre Dame on Sunday, Sykes hit the shot and the Orange ended up shooting 46 percent from deep to keep the game close. But SU lost that game largely because the Fighting Irish more than doubled the Orange’s rebound total, 44-20.On Thursday night, Sykes’ 3-pointer missed softly off the rim and bounced up in the air. Briana Day skied up and snagged the offensive rebound. She went back up, got fouled and made both free throws. Midway through the second quarter, she had a double-double.“I didn’t have too well of a rebounding game last game, so I needed to redeem myself,” Day said. “And I feel like I did.”While No. 20 Syracuse (19-9, 10-5 Atlantic Coast) was coming off its first home loss, Wake Forest was coming off arguably its best win of the season, an 89-77 victory at then-No. 15 North Carolina State. In that game, the Demon Deacons (15-13, 6-9) won the rebounding battle by four, and coming into tonight’s game was the second-best rebounding team in the ACC. But it was the Orange who dominated on the glass in an eventual 85-64 victory. Day was in the thick of it, notching her eighth double-double of the season and 31st of her career.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I that thought really was what our Achilles’ heel was in the first half, was giving up way too many O-boards to (Day),” Wake Forest head coach Jennifer Hoover said. “It was almost as if we didn’t talk about it coming into the game.”Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said after the game that he didn’t think Thursday night’s efforts came from Day wanting to prove herself again. Whatever the difference was in her game, it was noticeable right from the opening tip.Wake Forest couldn’t do much to slow her down. The Demon Deacons starting center, Milan Quinn, came into the game averaging nearly a double-double with 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while seeing 30.9 minutes per game. Thursday, she was limited to just four points and two rebounds in 18 minutes.Hoover said she liked what she got out of the other two centers, Ona Udoh and Tyra Whitehead. Still, the Orange got what it wanted, going into halftime with a 13-rebound advantage.“They have really good post players too,” Hillsman said. “But I thought that Brianna just did her job … offensively, when she was rolling to the basket (or we) were shooting the ball, she really attacked the glass.”Day’s 15 rebounds were the second most she has had in a game all season. Eight came on the offensive end. When Syracuse struggled to shoot the 3-ball early, going 3-of-17 in the first half, she was right there to clean up misses.Her presences inside also forced a change in Wake Forest’s defense in the third quarter. Twice early in the frame she set a screen for Alexis Peterson. Both times, Peterson’s defender couldn’t make it over while Day’s defender chose not to hedge, which led to easy buckets for Day at times on Sunday. Instead, though, Peterson ended up stepping back and knocking down two jumpers, one of them from deep.In the penultimate home game of the season, Day struggled on the boards. In what could have been her last game at the Carrier Dome, she more than made up for it.“I know I’m a great rebounder, I know I just had an off game,” Day said. “That’s what I aim to do every game … I just knew I had to have a good rebounding game.” Comments Published on February 23, 2017 at 10:57 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langerlast_img

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