Summit Auto Group Best of the Week: This was the best season in the history of SU women’s basketball. Quentin Hillsman’s crew won 30 games, got to the finals of the ACC Tournament, earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament home games, won them both to get its first-ever Sweet 16 appearance, then went to Sioux Falls and stunned no. 1 seed South Carolina and long-time power Tennessee to get to its first-ever Final Four, and finally going to Indianapolis and routing Washington before Breanna Stewart and Connecticut brought an end to SU’s championship dreams.
McDonald’s Rewind and Archive: Last weekend, news leaked out that Pearl Washington’s condition, already fragile, was worsening. It gave us all a reason to remember that, as much as any single player, Pearl put SU on the national map in his tenure from 1982 to 1986, with both his big plays and his great personality. Even more than 30 years later, no one is more beloved, which makes the news of his health struggles all the more striking and sad because of the joy he brought to so many, before and after his SU days. The “Pearl” T-shirts SU players wore throughout this season were a fitting tribute.
Eaton Crouse Hinds Community Corner: When SU’s men’s lacrosse team took on Cornell Tuesday night at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, it marked the 101st meeting between the Orange and Big Red. When SU won its first unofficial national championship in 1920, it fittingly played Cornell for the first time and won, 5-3. And 100 more would follow, with SU prevailing nearly two-thirds of the time, 64 wins to Cornell’s 35 with one tie. Only three other rivals in college lacrosse history have met more, and when SU won 14-6 a year ago, it gave coach John Desko his 200th win.
The U.S. Army Weekly Recap: When those two SU basketball teams made the Final Four on the same weekend, only one managed to win. The SU men fell to North Carolina 83-66 on April 2 at NRG Stadium in Houston, unable to recover from poor free-throw shooting and the interior dominance of the Tar Heels. However, SU’s women would rely on its defense and turnovers to beat Washington 82-61 in the national semifinal April 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to reach its first-ever NCAA title game, only to get tripped up there by Connecticut, who completed an undefeated season 82-51 as Cicero-North Syracuse’s Breanna Stewart was Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four for a record fourth time.