The Syracuse Women's Basketball Team had a breakout year last year. They are continuing that momentum this season. While it is a team sport, they do have a standout who has been getting national attention and breaking records. Our Iris St. Meran talks one on one with point guard Alexis Peterson.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Basketball is more than just an extra-curricular activity for Syracuse point guard Alexis Peterson.
"It's kept me sane,” Peterson said, “It's been my outlet. It's something I've always been passionate about. I love the game."
And it shows. The five foot seven senior has been part of the team's evolution, helping them get to the NCAA finals in 2016, a first for the women's team. She has carried that momentum into this year. Getting national attention as one of the top point guards in the country, but she's not letting any of that distract her when she steps on the court.
"I try to just stay focused, take it one moment at a time, stay in the moment," Peterson said.
And she is making every moment that she has here count. She broke the single game scoring record in the Carrier Dome with 45 points against North Carolina State on January 12 in the Dome.
"I’m super honored, super blessed to be able to set a record that no male or female has ever set," Peterson said. "I think it's a huge accomplishment. It speaks to how good my teammates are."
And speaking of teammates, Peterson and her backcourt mate and friend Brittney Sykes are a force to be reckoned with.
"They've been playing together for a long time. A lot of that is having been familiar with each other on the court. They do a very good job of keeping us in our flow of offense, of attacking and transitioning," explained Syracuse Women’s Basketball Coach Quentin Hillsman.
As Peterson's time is winding down, Coach Q, as he is affectionately known, reflects on when he first saw Peterson play. He said he knew then she was destined for greatness.
"I remember when we first started to recruit her and I sat in her home in the home visit,” Hillsman recalled, “I told her she had the chance to be one of the best point guards that ever played here. I think when you are recruiting a player, they see it more as a recruiting pitch, but I really meant that because I saw her ability."
Westhill High School girls’ basketball coach Sue Ludwig has been following Peterson. Ludwig has a unique perspective because she used to be a point guard for SU.
Peterson has her eyes set on playing professionally for the WNBA or overseas after she graduates and Ludwig says the Ohio native will have a bright future in whatever she chooses to do.
"She's defied the odds already when people say you have to be a 5'9"/5'10" point guard to be successful at a major division one level, Ludwig said, “She's doing it because she outworks people. Her passion is contagious. It fosters over to her teammates."
While her time left here is limited there there's no debating the legacy she is leaving behind even if Peterson herself is too humble to admit it.
Fans can catch Peterson, Sykes and the rest of the women's basketball team this Sunday at the Dome. They are playing Notre Dame and they hope to not only win, but to break the attendance record. The game starts at 5 p.m.