Vaida Sipaviciute was a force inside.
Sipaviciute accounted for nearly half of Syracuse’s offense, netting a career-high 21 points including the go-ahead basket with 1:13 left as Syracuse edged Villanova, 45-42, Saturday afternoon at Manley Field House.
Sipaviciute, who made just her sixth career start, used a variety of low-post moves to baffle and frustrate Villanova.
“There’s nobody that works harder than (Sipaviciute) on this team in terms of time that she’s putting in,” head coach Keith Cieplicki said. “I give a lot of credit to her teammates, too. They’re believing in her.”
With Syracuse (11-8, 3-5 Big East) trailing 43-42 with 1:13 left, Coleman lobbed the ball to Sipaviciute. The center – who had missed six-straight shots at that point – calmly turned around and banked in the shot, giving Syracuse its first lead in more than eight minutes.