WBB : Balanced offense leads Orange to victory over Golden Eagles

first_img Published on February 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img A smile stretched across Carmen Tyson-Thomas’ face as Kayla Alexander elevated for another bucket on the left block. Her expression remained the same as the layup bounced around the rim before eventually dropping in.And the smile was still there as the Syracuse guard waited to make eye contact with Alexander before turning to run back on defense as Marquette rushed up the floor.Tyson-Thomas’ shovel pass to Alexander seconds earlier pushed the Orange’s expanding lead to 16 with nearly 12 minutes to play, and the junior knew Syracuse was well on its way to a win.‘When they’re playing Kayla up, she’s getting deep position in the paint, we’re getting her the ball up top with lobs, so I mean it’s just working,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘When your inside and your (outside) game’s working, that’s how you get Ws.’Syracuse (16-11, 5-8 Big East) defeated Marquette 79-63 behind a balanced offensive performance in the Carrier Dome in front of 892 Saturday. Four Orange players scored in double figures, and SU shot 54.4 percent from the field to run away from the Golden Eagles (13-13, 4-9 Big East) for the win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlexander led the way with 23 points on an efficient 10-of-13 from the field. Tyson-Thomas added 15, Elashier Hall poured in 14 and Iasia Hemingway finished with 13 in an impressive offensive performance for the Orange.‘That’s huge, obviously, to have floor balance and to have balance in scoring is big,’ SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘I thought they did a very good job of scoring the basketball, and our team shot a high percentage.’SU got off to a slow start, hitting just one field goal in the first four minutes of action to fall behind the Golden Eagles early. But then the Orange found its rhythm and responded with a 14-2 run led by 10 points from Alexander.Syracuse took a seven-point lead into the half. The Orange appeared ready to break the game open after Alexander hit a tough shot inside to put SU up by 11 three minutes into the second half. But Marquette ripped off seven straight points in less than two minutes to close the gap to four.With the momentum quickly shifting after a 3 by Marquette guard Katie Young, Syracuse needed an answer. Hall provided it on the ensuing possession with a 3 of her own from the left wing, ending the Golden Eagles’ run to give SU a 46-39 advantage.‘It was just about being at the right place at the right time, honestly,’ Hall said. ‘… I just stepped in with confidence and knocked it down.’The Orange didn’t get overexcited after Hall’s clutch shot as the Syracuse guard, and her teammates showed no emotion getting back on defense. Instead, they dug in and went on a 16-0 run to put the game out of reach for Marquette with just more than nine minutes remaining.And unlike SU’s first big run of the game, Alexander got some help from her teammates.Four different players — Hall, Alexander, Rachel Coffey and Phylesha Bullard — scored during the decisive sequence. Coffey added a 3 after Hall’s, Bullard knocked down a jumper and finished a layup and Alexander made plays in the paint for SU.‘I thought we took great shots,’ Hillsman said. ‘I didn’t feel we forced any shot during that run. I thought that we got good floor balance, we got the ball reversed and we got very good, good shots.’The fifth player on the court, Tyson-Thomas, handed out two of her four assists in the game during the dominant run.Her first came on a perfectly placed lob pass to Alexander from the free-throw line to put Syracuse up 12. Tyson-Thomas could feel the Orange taking control of the game as she held her fist in the air, backpedaled down the court and urged her teammates to keep the energy level high.After Bullard came up with a steal and broke down the court for an uncontested layup, Tyson-Thomas made another play. The Syracuse guard grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss by Hall and dropped a pretty pass off to a wide-open Alexander with two Marquette players around her.That’s when she finally smiled and knew SU had the game in hand with just more than nine minutes to play.‘When we’re playing the way that we play, inside out and high-low and drive and kicking, you’re going to get open shots on the perimeter,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘It’s just up to us to knock them down.’[email protected]last_img

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