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Syracuse can’t keep up with Terrapins in 25-point loss

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 2, 2014 at 5:10 pm Contact Josh: [email protected]center_img Twice in two days, the Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Players of the Year proved to fans at the Carrier Dome just how talented they are.On Saturday against Duke, C.J. Fair finished with 28 points. On Sunday, the recipient of the women’s preseason award — Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas — recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.A season-high 1,312 fans were on hand to watch Thomas’ performance, as the senior led the No. 8 Terrapins (17-4, 5-3 ACC) to an 89-64 victory over Syracuse (16-6, 5-4) at the Carrier Dome on Sunday. A combination of Maryland’s speed and Syracuse’s tired legs didn’t bode well for the Orange, as the Terrapins snuck behind the Orange defense time and time again.“We’re a running team. That’s who we are,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought we did a really good job of that in the first half, making a lot of easy plays, and a lot of unselfish plays. The extra pass for dump downs for layups, that’s who we are. That’s when we’re at our best, is in transition.”Three days after a tough win over No. 6 North Carolina, Syracuse was overmatched and outhustled against Maryland from the outset. Terrapins guard Lexie Brown made 11-of-13 shots from the field and scored a team-high 31 points, and guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough made 7-of-9 and finished with 17.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“You’re not going to beat a team when they shoot (61.4) percent from the field and you shoot in the 30s,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “That’s the game. They just didn’t miss many shots.”The Orange jumped out to a four-point lead, but Maryland answered with a 10-0 run highlighted by a drive from Thomas straight through the SU defense for an easy two points.Much like Hillsman has done recently, he used quicker centers Briana and Bria Day to help with transition defense. Briana Day played more minutes than starting center Shakeya Leary, and Bria Day played 11. Hillsman also relied on a two point guard set of Alexis Peterson and Cornelia Fondren, hoping to combine his most explosive point guard with his most defensively adept one.Still, the Terrapins were able to grab rebounds and push the ball. If the initial Maryland rush up the floor was stopped, it still kept the SU defense on its heels.In the first half, Maryland scored eight fast-break points and 22 points in the paint, and took a 46-29 lead at the half.“They just weren’t getting back in transition defense,” Brown said. “Usually I like to stay up and get the ball, but we were getting rebounds and just throwing it ahead. Everyone was running today.”Hillsman was impressed by Brown’s play.“Lexie was incredible tonight,” Hillsman said. “She made shots that she hadn’t made all season. But she’s very capable. She’s a very good basketball player and she did everything she could to keep them in the game.”In the second half, it was much of the same. Midway through the half, Syracuse point guard Rachel Coffey threw an inbounds pass directly to Katie Rutan, who took the ball coast to coast for an easy two points to put the Terrapins up 72-44.“I feel like definitely in the second half we didn’t get back fast enough on defense,” Briana Day said. “We let up easy buckets. We tried to clog the lane. We just didn’t do a good job.”Maryland finished with 21 fast-break points and 40 points in the paint.Brittney Sykes scored a team-high 22 points for the Orange. But Brianna Butler and Taylor Ford were the next highest scorers for the Orange, with nine apiece.Said Sykes: “I wouldn’t say that we’re getting tired out. Obviously playing in the ACC takes a toll on your body…So sometimes, yeah, we are a little fatigued, but we just have to fight through it. This is the sport we love, and we’re gonna fight through it.”last_img

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