Sioux Falls, S.D. — Start your engines. The Syracuse University women’s basketball team is going to its first-ever Final Four.
The Orange earned that right with a decisive 89-67 win over Tennessee on Sunday in the Sioux Falls Regional Final at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
The Orange (29-7) will take on Washington in a national semifinal game on Sunday in Indianapolis. Syracuse beat the Huskies in Las Vegas earlier this season.
Alexis Peterson scored 29 points for SU, followed by Brianna Butler with 18 and Cornelia Fondren with 13 off the bench. SU hit 14 threes, paced by six from Butler and three each from Peterson and Maggie Morrison.
The Orange went into high gear to put the game away with a 26-11 run in the fourth.
Syracuse led 63-56 after three. The Orange built up a lead as large as 11 points in the third but Diamond DeShields kept the Lady Vols in the game with 12 points in that stretch.
The Orange responded to a 22-20 deficit after one to grab a 41-35 lead at half. Butler and Peterson each hit two threes in that span, and the Orange defense started to get to the Lady Vols by forcing six turnovers.
Before this NCAA Tournament, Syracuse had never even reached the Sweet 16. Fondren, Peterson and Butler were named to the regional tournament team.