Pair of runs propels Syracuse to victory over Seton Hall

first_img Published on January 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm Contact Kevin: [email protected] Shortly before the 10-minute mark of the second half, Shakeya Leary came off of the bench to relieve fellow center Kayla Alexander. Leary immediately made sure there was no drop-off in production, grabbing an offensive rebound on Elashier Hall’s missed jumper and nailing the putback.From there, the game’s verdict was in little doubt.Leary’s basket completed a 19-1 Syracuse run that broke a semi-tight game with Seton Hall into a blowout and propelled the Orange (17-3, 5-2 Big East) to a 65-34 victory Wednesday in front of 490 fans at the Carrier Dome. After a 64-59 loss Saturday at Villanova, the win against Seton Hall (8-13, 3-5) allows Syracuse to avoid its first losing streak of the season and keeps the Orange on the right path toward the NCAA Tournament.“I thought that during that time, we just did a very good job getting our defense set,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said of the 19-1 run that stretched from the 17:10 mark to the 10:26 mark of the second half. “Obviously, mostly when you get your defense set, you’re scoring the basketball. I thought we did a good job of scoring to give ourselves the opportunity to get our press set.”Syracuse’s sizable margin of victory came from two major runs, one being the 19-1 burst, the other a 14-2 run that lasted 7:13 through the middle of the first half. The opening-half burst turned an 8-7 Seton Hall lead into a 21-10 SU advantage.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange never looked back.Keying the 14-2 run was Leary’s ability to complement Alexander down low, ensuring a strong Orange presence inside even when SU’s all-time leading scorer was on the bench. Leary went strong to the basket for two consecutive layups to kickstart the run, the second coming off of a defensive rebound.“Shakeya’s a good player,” Hillsman said. “She’s kind of been banged up a little bit the last couple days of practice. I wish I could’ve played her a little more; I probably could have.”Leary finished with six points on 3-for-3 shooting and added six rebounds in her eight minutes on the court.Throughout the runs, and the entire game, the Orange’s efforts were boosted by a suffocating defense that pressured Seton Hall players at every opportunity and kept open shots to a minimum. Syracuse mixed in some full-court press early in the second half to continue the defensive domination over the Pirates.The Orange held Seton Hall to a 13-for-59 shooting performance for a 22 percentage rate, including a 1-for-15 clip from 3-point range. The Pirates’ 34-point output was the second lowest number of points allowed by SU in its Big East history. The Orange’s defensive effort and intensity set the tone for the runs to be possible, Alexander said.“I thought it was our defense that got us going,” Alexander said. “Whenever you have a good defense, whether you’re getting steals, you can get stops.”Seniors Alexander and Hall recorded double-doubles. Alexander had 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Hall scored 10 points and grabbed 14 boards. Hall put the finishing touches on her night with a 3 from the top of the key with 2:23 to play, pumping her fist as she ran off of the court and hugging teammate Carmen Tyson-Thomas, who was sidelined for the game after having a tooth pulled.“Having two seniors to have 23 points and 26 rebounds is tremendous,” Hillsman said. “You’ve got to give Kayla and Lacie a lot of credit. But I thought that, overall, this was a total team effort.”Freshman Brianna Butler had a season-high 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including a 4-for-9 effort from 3-point range. Fellow freshman Brittney Sykes tied Butler with a 14-point night to lead the team.“I thought that our team played really, really good,” Hillsman said. “Hopefully we can continue this on Saturday.” Comments Related Stories Alexander breaks SU scoring record during stellar seasoncenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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