WBB : Hall looks to end slump as SU travels to take on Cincinnati

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 21, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Elashier Hall was on her way to becoming Syracuse’s star.The sophomore averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 47.5 percent from the field through an 11-game stretch from a Dec. 22 game against Clemson to a Jan. 29 game versus South Florida. She hit 17-of-32 shots from 3-point range. She scored double-digit points in all of those games except a nine-point outing against Marquette.But against Notre Dame on Feb. 1, that streak came to a crashing halt. Hall missed the only three shots she took in South Bend, Ind., and failed to score in SU’s 71-48 loss.The game was the beginning of a severe dip in the guard’s offensive production. Hall refused to call her past six games a slump, but the numbers prove otherwise. Her scoring average has plummeted to 4.7 points per game on 22.5 percent shooting in the recent stretch. She also knocked down just two 3-pointers in February after being deadly from beyond the arc during that 11-game hot streak.Hall will look to reverse the trend Tuesday when Syracuse (19-7, 7-6 Big East) takes on Cincinnati (8-17, 1-12) at 7 p.m. in Cincinnati.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It’s growing pains for her,’ head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘She’s got to understand, it’s really out of respect because a team’s game-planning for you, and they fly out and they run double teams. That means that they really respect her game.’Hall showed signs of a recovery Saturday against St. John’s by scoring 10 points in SU’s 78-67 win. But prior to that outing, her highest total in the subpar stretch had been seven against DePaul on a 3-for-13 shooting effort.In her mind, the main difference has been Syracuse’s game plans. The goal in recent games has been to pound the ball inside and let the Orange bigs overpower the opposition. SU’s frontcourt scoring has been up in recent contests, but there’s another area of Hall’s game that has contributed to her lack of production.‘Obviously shooting,’ she said when asked what worked for her in the hot stretch. ‘Just going hard, playing hard. That’s what I do every game. I don’t know. Maybe something clicked in those games.’As things started to click for Hall, though, opponents started paying her more attention. Hillsman said he first saw it after the sophomore tallied back-to-back 20-plus point efforts against Rutgers on Jan. 11 and West Virginia on Jan. 15.Defenders fly out and contest her shots quicker than they used to. Opponents double-team her and force her to dribble instead of giving her catch-and-shoot opportunities.‘I guess now she can see it,’ Hillsman said. ‘And now she understands people are not going to let you just come downcourt and let you get free shots when you are a prolific scorer. And she proved to be that.’Sophomore Carmen Tyson-Thomas and senior Erica Morrow both said the best thing to do in a slump is to stay confident and shoot out of it. Morrow added she can provide some help for Hall in games, but a lot of it still falls on the sophomore to work her way through the struggles.‘Just as a point guard, it’s my job to put her in positions to score,’ Morrow said. ‘And then from there, it’s in her hands.’Hillsman agreed the burden is on Hall to fight her way back to the level of production she was at earlier this year. He said the sophomore has to create more opportunities for herself to get going.She did that a little more Saturday, knocking down 4-of-9 shots against St. John’s. And Hall is still confident — slump or not — that she can rise to the occasion when the time comes.‘The shots that I get, I just have to convert,’ she said. ‘But I’m not really worried because my team will take care of it. I’ll get it done when it needs to be done.’[email protected]last_img

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