Syracuse guard Brittney Sykes had 13 points and 12 rebounds before injuring her right knee midway through the second half as the sixth-seeded Orange beat Chattanooga 59-53 Saturday for its first-ever NCAA tournament win.
Leading 40-36 with 12:46 remaining, Sykes drove to the basket before grabbing her leg and screaming. The Orange stayed strong without their top scorer, using a 52-36 rebounding edge to stretch the lead to 10 with 2:33 left before withstanding a late Chattanooga rally featuring three 3-pointers from Taylor Hall.
Syracuse (23-9) hit 24 of 31 free throws to seal the victory that also snapped Chattanooga's 25-game winning streak. Shakeya Leary made 7 of 8 from the line to finish with 15 points.
Brianna Butler was just 2 of 11 from the floor but hit 9 of 10 free throws for 13 points.
Chattanooga (29-4) hit just 4 of 14 from the foul line. Hall led the Lady Mocs with 19 points and 10 rebounds.