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Shut-down defense, late run propels Syracuse to win over Maine


first_img Published on November 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2 For nearly 30 minutes, Maine gave Syracuse a scare. With 11:19 minutes remaining, the Black Bears were hanging around, trailing by just seven points. Then the Orange proved why it was the team with NCAA tournament hopes and Maine was 0-2.SU went on a 17-0 run over the next 8:41 and held the Black Bears to just four points on one field goal the rest of the way.“Our man-to-man won us the game today,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “When you keep people in front of you and you guard, that’s your offense you’re going to have and you’re going to have those kinds of runs.”That run fueled Syracuse in a 68-44 win over Maine on Tuesday night in Orono, Maine. The team used its athleticism and depth to get out in transition and defeat the Black Bears. Orange center Kayla Alexander managed a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Elashier Hall keyed the decisive run offensively for the Orange with nine points, seven of which came on jump shots.Hall kick-started the run with a jumper with 10:08 remaining. On the very next possession, Hall knocked down a 3-pointer to stretch the SU lead to 12. Maine didn’t cut the lead to single digits for the rest of the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Black Bears actually matched up with Syracuse in the size department, which is why Hillsman said he insisted on getting out in transition and settling for jump shots instead.“We pushed the ball and we got into our offense early,” Hillsman said. “I thought that was the key. We had to get some early offense and not have to really shrink the floor and cause us problems getting the ball inside.”As they did in the season opener, the freshmen’s contributions both on the floor and in providing depth made the run possible.For the second straight game, Brittney Sykes, Brianna Butler and Cornelia Fondren all started. Sykes led the freshmen with 29 minutes, with Butler right behind with 24. Fondren played just 14, but went 3-for-3 from the field, including a 3-pointer.“We need them,” Hillsman said. “We need their contributions, we need their depth on the court and we have to do everything we can to keep them in the game and keep them playing.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more