Poor first half dooms Orange
Maybe the Orange should have saved some of those for the first half.
SU came out flat in the first half, and coupled with accurate Georgetown shooting, found itself with a deficit no comeback could surmount. Entering the second half, Syracuse trailed the Hoyas, 43-15.
The Orange’s point total in the first half is a season low.
‘We didn’t get too many balls,’ Syracuse head coach Keith Cieplicki said. ‘We dug ourselves into big a hole. It seems like everything was breaking down in the first half.’
Syracuse (11-9, 3-6 Big East) tried to get the ball into post players Vaida Sipaviciute and Chineze Nwagbo – the same strategy it employed in its win against Villanova this week. But even without starting center Varda Tamoulianis, the Big East’s second-leading shot blocker, who was suspended for violating team rules, Georgetown’s 2-3 zone quickly collapsed around Sipaviciute or Nwagbo whenever the Orange dumped the ball into the post.
The Hoyas (8-12, 3-6 Big East) held Sipaviciute to four points on 2-for-11 shooting and Nwagbo to zero points.
It became apparent the inside shots were not falling for Syracuse, even if the post players had open looks at the basket. And with SU needing an offensive spark, the guards reverted to shooting long 3-point shots. Syracuse shot only 27.3 percent behind the arc.
‘We had Vaida and Chine on the lob in the post,’ said Syracuse guard Rochelle Coleman. ‘We didn’t come ready to play. We came out flat.’
Coleman also played uncharacteristically sloppy. Coming in to last night’s game, Coleman’s assist-to-turnover ratio was 2-to-1. In the first half, she had three turnovers and only two assists.
As a team, the Orange had eight turnovers compared to only 15 points. Freshman guard Jessica Ritcher also committed three turnovers.
Those turnovers translated into 18 easy points off of turnovers for the Hoyas.
‘It was amazing,’ said Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. ‘We came out very confident. We executed our plays the way we needed to.’
Georgetown’s confidence built upon itself. While SU stood around and watched on offense and played lackadaisical defense, the Hoyas exploited the Orange’s lack of energy.
‘We weren’t executing the game plan the way we were supposed to,’ Coleman said. ‘It wasn’t our game plan to stand around. In the second half, we started doing our game plan and opening up.’
But when the Orange finally responded in the second half, it was too late to overcome Georgetown’s lead – and its confidence.
‘It feels good to be up 43-15 at the half,’ said Georgetown guard Mary Lisicky. ‘We had fun. To a certain extent (we felt like the game was over after the first half). The confidence of the first half carried over to the second half.’
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