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Orange women’s basketball sets program record, allows just 17 points

first_img Published on December 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Quentin Hillsman shied away from that pair of four-letter words, saying he had to be careful. Even though every statistic from his team’s 70-point annihilation of Delaware State pointed toward those two words and even though Hillsman himself said he has yet to see a better defensive effort, the Syracuse women’s basketball coach still wouldn’t agree with that one phrase. ‘‘Best ever’ is a little strong,’ he said with a smile. ‘But it was good. It was very good. ‘I’m just careful with using that word ‘ever.” Whether or not Hillsman anointed his team’s 87-17 dismantling of Delaware State as the best defensive performance in the history of the women’s basketball program is irrelevant, though. The numbers do it for him.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The 70-point margin of victory Saturday set a new Syracuse (6-0) record. The 17 points allowed are the fewest an Orange team has ever given up. The 1,102 fans in the Carrier Dome saw a record-setting performance in which SU’s relentless defensive pressure held the Hornets (1-5) without a field goal for all but 28 seconds of the second half. SU allowed just three points in the final 20 minutes. It was sheer domination. This marks the second consecutive season in which the Orange defeated Delaware State by at least 50 points. SU trounced the Hornets 72-20 in 2009, with the 20 points allowed setting a program record. One year later, the Hornets were the victims of another record-setting blowout. ‘We were very active all over the place,’ SU guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We were shutting them down for quite a bit.’ The first half saw Syracuse turn a one-point deficit into a 24-point lead with a 27-2 run. SU’s full-court press stifled the Hornets offensively, preventing them from setting up their offense on most possessions. With 2:26 left in the first half, Delaware State broke the press on a rare occasion. But the first pass over half court was deflected by Tyson-Thomas, and she threw it off a DSU player out of bounds to give Syracuse the ball back. The Hornets finished the first half with more than three times as many turnovers as field goals. ‘Our pressure sped them up a little bit and didn’t let them get into their offense in the half court,’ Hillsman said. ‘Or if they did get into their offense, there was 12 or 13 seconds left on the shot clock, and that wasn’t enough time to reverse the ball against our zone.’ Already with a 35-point advantage by halftime, Syracuse increased the defensive intensity even more in the second half. In the first five minutes, Kayla Alexander had six blocks. It took 2:54 for the Hornets to have a shot hit the rim. ‘I think just contesting shots on defense (was huge),’ SU senior guard Erica Morrow said. ‘Kayla was big down low. She had a lot of blocks.’ And that was just the beginning. For the first 19:32 of the second half, the team was held to one point. The Hornets missed its first 27 shot attempts of the second half. With each and every miss by Delaware State, the snickers from fans inside the Carrier Dome grew louder. Especially after the Hornets had a two-on-none breakaway but wasted it with a poor pass out of bounds. Especially after Delaware State’s Kianna Conner (six turnovers) made a double-clutch 3-pointer just tenths of a second after the horn had sounded for a shot-clock violation. ‘I can’t say that I’ve seen one better,’ said Hillsman of the defensive performance. ‘You’ve got to give our kids a lot of credit.’ The Orange held Delaware State to just 14 percent shooting for the game, including a comical 1-for-28 clip in the second half. Finally, though, the Hornets broke through on a layup by Kianna D’Oliveira with 0:28 left in the game. It broke a field goal drought of 20:05 dating back to the first half. D’Oliveira’s layup, although meaningless with Syracuse leading by 72, left the Orange players disappointed. They didn’t want to give up a single field goal in the second half, no matter how insignificant. ‘Honestly, yeah, we were disappointed,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘That one was a little shocker. … We were a little upset. ‘It was just that kind of game for us.’ [email protected]last_img

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