Syracuse women’s basketball recovers from sloppy start to dominate Siena, 102-65

first_img Published on November 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Blood dripped from Brittney Sykes’ face as the redshirt senior slapped the side of the baseline panel and took a seat. One minute into the night, she had sustained what appeared to be an elbow to the lip and was forced out of the game.In her absence, Siena exploded to a 9-0 run. Ninety seconds of action saw Alexis Peterson get stripped and SU air ball 3-pointers.Midway through the first quarter, without one of its star players, Syracuse trailed by six.But eight seconds into the second, Gabby Cooper drilled a 3 from the right wing, sparking a 14-1 run. The spurt supercharged No. 14 Syracuse’s (2-0) offense to a 29-9 second quarter outburst. After a deadlocked 20-20 opening frame, the Orange dominated Siena (0-1), 102-65, Monday night in the Carrier Dome.“It’s tough because this is their first game so we had last year’s tapes,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said, referencing SU’s film study on Siena. “We kind of just had to play a little bit.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU scored 100 points for the first time since 2013 and racked up at least 95 points for the second-consecutive game to start the year. By game’s end, Isabella Slim (16 points), Sykes (18), Briana Day (19), Peterson (19), Cooper (11) and Jade Phillips (10) had contributed double-figure scoring.Returning its top four scorers from a year ago, Siena came out strong in the first quarter. Jackie Benitez repeatedly hit pull-up jumpers to keep the Saints in it. While Siena’s leading scorer in 2015-16, junior point guard Kollyns Scarbrough, was held to nine points, the Saints converted on chances, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first. Syracuse, meanwhile, played sloppily in the opening minutes against a team that has had only one winning season over the last decade.The Orange got its shots but the only uncertainty was how many it’d knock down. SU went just 6-for-16 from the field. Even in the 29-point second quarter, Syracuse shot only 35 percent from the field. Where it thrived was in shot generation, tallying 31 shots and hitting on 11.Syracuse paced the floor in the second quarter and beyond, applied pressure defensively and chucked up shots — something it had not done in the opening 10 minutes. The Orange switched from a three-quarter-court defense to full court. In the half court, SU extended farther than it did in the first — near the midcourt line — to pressure Siena guards. When backup guards came on, Syracuse suffocated the Saints offense.“Our point guards got in some foul trouble, which hurt,” Siena head coach Ali Jaques said. “I think it caused some tentativeness.”Even when SU sagged off, the Saints could hardly get shots off. They scored just two points inside the paint and shot only 1-for-11 in the second quarter.Cooper’s early 3-pointer sparked the run. From the wing, Sykes threw a dart to Day’s chest. Day made an up-and-under move for the basket. A couple of possessions later, Sykes cut to the dish for two. Then she maneuvered her way around Siena center Meghan Donohue for a bucket down low.Phillips drilled a slight-fade away 3 from the wing, pulling her hands down. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman took a sip of water and shook his head with a light chuckle. A Day to Sykes alley-oop layup off an inbound pass followed.Toward the end of the quarter, Chelayne Bailey drove from the wing, drawing a second defender before she slotted a pass to Isabella Slim for two points. Syracuse jogged into the locker room up 49-29 at the half, turning a tie game into one that would soon be out of reach. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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