WBB : Strong frontcourt performance leads Syracuse to win over Buffalo

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Quentin Hillsman’s focus going into Syracuse’s game against Buffalo was no secret.The SU head coach wanted his team to fight for rebounds and get high-percentage shots as it has all season.‘It’s all about getting the ball inside,’ Hillsman said in a phone interview. ‘We did a good job of getting the ball inside and playing in the paint. That was big for us, we just want to be in the paint and that made us better, getting the ball inside to Kayla (Alexander) and Iasia (Hemingway) and continue to be aggressive on the glass.’The Orange used a dominating inside performance to defeat the Bulls 79-59 in front of 406 fans in the Carrier Dome Tuesday. The Syracuse (4-0) win over Buffalo (2-2) was highlighted by a complete performance by SU’s interior players. The starting frontcourt of Alexander, Hemingway and Carmen Tyson-Thomas combined to score 56 of the team’s 79 points.Tyson-Thomas led SU with a career-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Hemingway, who started her first game this season, contributed 18 points and eight rebounds.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Bulls hung around for the early part of the first half. With 13:09 remaining, SU had just a four-point lead, but then the Orange took over. Over the next five minutes, Syracuse’s defense held the Bulls without a field goal and forced them to commit six turnovers.After Tyson-Thomas made two straight free throws with 9:44 left in the first half, SU forced Buffalo forward Christa Baccas to turn the ball over, and on the following possession Tyson-Thomas buried a 3 to push SU’s lead to 24-9. Tyson-Thomas’ 3-pointer finished off an 11-0 Syracuse run, in which she contributed seven points.From that point forward, SU’s lead did not sink any lower than 12. Hillsman said the Orange spurt was a product of what the team has been doing well all season long.‘We just did a good job of rebounding the basketball and forcing turnovers,’ Hillsman said. ‘I thought that was the key for our game and it really sped up the game some on defense. That’s what we want to do, keep the game fast and rebound the basketball.’The SU frontcourt spearheaded that fast attack all game on a night when the guards struggled to find their rhythm offensively.Syracuse guard Elashier Hall had an off night, shooting 2-of-7 to score just five points. But Hillsman said Hall did a good job in an alternate role as distributor as she dished out a career-high eight assists.‘She did a very good job of setting up the offense for us tonight,’ Hillsman said. ‘Her shot wasn’t there and she didn’t make a lot of shots, but she did a very good job of setting up the offense.’SU also rebounded the ball extremely well. Syracuse gathered 50 rebounds to Buffalo’s 37, and held UB’s leading rebounder Beth Christiensen to just four boards.And in the end, the effort of the Orange frontcourt sealed the victory.‘Our players do a good job of going to the basket every possession and being physical and being aggressive and playing at the rim,’ Hillsman said. ‘That’s what we want to continue to do.’[email protected] Published on November 22, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img

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