Women of Troy faced fierce weekend games

first_imgThe top-ranked women’s water polo team traveled to Irvine to compete in the UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. USC faced three top-25 opponents on their way to the championship game against No. 2 UCLA Sunday night.In Sunday’s semifinal game, the Women of Troy (10-0) faced No. 4 Stanford. USC took a quick first quarter lead of 2-1 but would fail to score again until the final period. Stanford led by 2 goals at halftime and extended the lead to 3 goals with one period of play left.In an action-packed fourth quarter, the game was tied 6-6 with under a minute remaining when junior driver Stephania Haralabidis scored the winning goal on a lob with six seconds remaining.The leading scorer for the Women of Troy was the other Haralabidis, junior attacker Ioanna, who had 2  goals in the game.The action started Saturday with the Trojans rematch against No. 25 CSU Northridge. The Trojans dominated the Matadors 13-3 before challenging the host team No. 9 UC Irvine in a battle for the books.In the opening match of the tournament, the Matadors were the first to put a goal on the board with an early lead. The Women of Troy would then go on to score the next 10 goals shutting out the Matadors for the remainder of the first half.Ioanna Haralabidis put away 3 goals from the perimeter and junior center Brigitta Games tallied two more from the two-meter position. The momentum continued in the second quarter when junior Avery Peterson backhanded her second goal of the match.The goaltending duties during the game were split between sophomore Victoria Chamorro and senior Alegra Hueso. Chamorro tallied five saves while Hueso recorded one in the match.In the second half, USC continued to build on its lead drawing it out to a 13-2 lead in the fourth quarter. CSUN scored on their final powerplay opportunity to end the game, and the Trojans advanced to the next round with a 13-3 victory.Facing host UCI in the next game, the Trojans were stuck in a back-and-forth battle that included seven ties. Sophomore driver Brianna Daboub scored 2 goals in the game with one coming in the first quarter to give them a 4-3 advantage at the end of the period. At the end of the first half the game was tied 5-5.Stephania Haralabidis was the scoring force for USC in the game though netting a total of 7 goals. She scored the go-ahead goal with just under five minutes remaining in the game, and the Trojans held on to advance to the semifinals with an 11-10 victory.Freshman goalie Amanda Longan stood tall in goal garnering 10 saves on the day.USC will continue its season with a road trip to the desert to face ASU on March 5.last_img read more

Helton cracks down on pre-game entrance

first_imgNick Entin | Daily TrojanToning it down · The football team drew attention for its entrance against Alabama prior to a 52-6 loss at AT&T Stadium to open the season.When the football team comes out of the tunnel on Saturday against Utah State, its entrance will likely be subdued — at least compared to last week. USC’s shenanigans coming out of the tunnel prior to playing Alabama last Saturday was a topic of discussion during Wednesday’s practice at Howard Jones Field as the team continued preparations for its home opener against Utah State.New Day, Different ControversyJunior JuJu Smith-Schuster made headlines when he sparked an inter-squad scuffle during USC’s practice on Tuesday, but the wideout was back on the field with a more level head come Wednesday. Instead, the buzz shifted to the team’s unusual pre-game entrance onto the field at AT&T Stadium last weekend, when a few Trojan players drew attention to themselves with some dramatic posturing at the mouth of the tunnel.Head coach Clay Helton said the staff was less than impressed by Saturday’s display and had addressed the issue with the squad.“We had a couple kids who decided to let the pageantry mean more than the game,” he said. “It’s a learning lesson for us. Like I said, we’re not only building a team here but also a program and a culture.”Sophomore linebacker Cameron Smith said he didn’t even see the entrance until he logged onto social media after the game, but he didn’t anticipate a repeat performance this weekend at the Coliseum.“Some of the coaches said some stuff,” he said. “So I don’t know if that’ll be happening again.”Aggie AdjustmentReturning to issues on the gridiron, the Trojans have spent the week digesting their mistakes against the Tide and preparing for their newest challenge against Utah State. It isn’t easy simultaneously gleaning lessons from a season opener against the defending national champions and getting ready for another game in three days, but the team is raring to go and rising to the challenge.“No one’s feeling sorry for us, so we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Smith said. “We have to move on and play the next game.”Junior cornerback Adoree’ Jackson echoed his teammate’s comments and remained bullish on the rest of USC’s football season.“We’re pretty hungry to get out there and play,” he said. “A lot of people think this is the end of the season for us, but we’ll come out stronger. One game doesn’t define you.”Utah State will arrive in Los Angeles hunting for an upset over unranked USC, who dropped out of the AP Top 25 this week after starting the preseason at No. 20. Helton described his upcoming opponent as a “good coverage team,” and the Trojan defense has been preparing for the Aggies’ dual-threat quarterback, junior Kent Myers.Of course, it was a fleet-of-foot signal caller who wreaked havoc against USC in Arlington last week, and Trojan defenders are keen to put their mistakes against Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts behind them.“They beat us on missed communications and missed assignments—you know, busted coverages and things like that,” safety Chris Hawkins said. Injury UpdateJunior center Toa Lobendahn remained out of practice with a knee injury, and Helton said the team was awaiting the results of an MRI before proceeding any further. Redshirt junior defensive tackle Khaliel Rodgers was also sidelined with a hamstring issue. Sophomore wide receiver Deontay Burnett had his practice cut short with a shoulder sprain, and junior safety John Plattenburg continued to move through concussion protocol. Sophomore Noah Jefferson was still out with a shoulder injury.last_img read more

USC looks to beat Utah to command Pac-12 South

first_imgJunior wide receiver Michael Pittman had six receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan)The Trojans will roll into Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday looking to extend their win streak to four, and to possibly secure a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. It won’t be an easy task by any means; Rice-Eccles and its ear-splitting energy have famously been the bane of visiting Trojan squads in the past, and the Utes won’t be a pushover either. Utah sits with the same 4-2 record as USC, coming off of an impressive upset of Stanford, which beat the Trojans, and a 32-point throttling of Arizona. The Trojans’ victory against Colorado last week was a huge step toward securing the Pac-12 South and a spot in the conference championship. After this week, the Trojans’ conference schedule appears to be an easy run of wins as they play Arizona State, Cal, Oregon State and UCLA. A win against a tough Utah team on the road this weekend will likely solidify USC as the champions of the south.USC offense vs. Utah defenseThe USC offense was almost entirely one dimensional last week as it shredded the Buffaloes in the deep passing game to the tune of 283 yards and three touchdowns through the air. The offensive line performed well in pass protection for the third-straight game, giving freshman quarterback JT Daniels clean pockets to work from all night. Daniels wasn’t perfect, but his connection with receivers junior Michael Pittman and redshirt sophomore Tyler Vaughns continued to progress, as he repeatedly kept the chains moving with passes downfield. Pittman stood out with five passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. “The thing I’ve been thoroughly impressed with [Daniels] is how fast he picks up playbook material,” Head coach Clay Helton said. “He’s so advanced mentally. He’s the main reason we’ve won the last three games against three quality teams.”The run game, however, couldn’t find its rhythm, with the Trojans failing to net positive ground yardage in the first half, ending the game with only 51 rushing yards. The offensive line failed to create any sort of push off the ball making it difficult for both senior running backs Aca’Cedric Ware and sophomore Stephen Carr to find running lanes.The Utes run defense is ranked No. 2 in the nation, giving up an average of only 74.8 rush yards a game. Utah plays with a stacked box, often leaving its defensive backs in man coverage with senior safety Marqise Blair playing single-high coverage deep. “Because of the quality of free safety that we’re getting ready to play in Blair, [one important key for Daniels] is being really disciplined with [his] eyes,” Helton said. “If you give away your intentions, [Blair’s] got enough range and enough speed to pick any ball off even on one hop. It’s important that [Daniels] does not lock in on receivers.” Although the Trojans will find it difficult to run against the physical Utah front seven, their scheme in the secondary leaves them prone to exploitation down the field via the passing game, with their No. 67-ranked pass defense. Look for Daniels to continue launching deep shots to Pittman, Vaughns and freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown to keep the chains moving.Utah offense vs. USC defenseThe Utah offense runs through junior Zach Moss. The running back has been following up his phenomenal campaign from last year with another strong season, with 617 rush yards on a healthy 5.6 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley throws the ball efficiently on a low volume of throws, working well with Moss and the run game, capitalizing on play action plays. USC’s run defense has been impressive in recent weeks as they’ve held Colorado, Arizona and Washington State to under 100 rushing yards each. Although Moss and Utah’s physical offensive line provide a much higher degree of difficulty, the Trojan defense is well equipped to handle a run-first offense, given the health of linebackers freshman Palaie Gaoteote and senior Cameron Smith, who may not play Saturday. “[Gaoteote is a] very smart and instinctive kid,” Helton said. “That linebacker position is like being a quarterback of the defense, and having to make calls and adjustments based on strength of formation. You’re literally a quarterback back there having to make those calls plus doing your own job.”Though Utah’s passing offense isn’t as lethal, Huntley and his receivers can make big plays, especially when he’s given time in the pocket. USC rediscovered its pass rush on Saturday after it was practically nonexistent for weeks, racking up four sacks on the Buffaloes. However, in doing so, the Trojans lost their best pass-rusher in senior linebacker Porter Gustin, who will miss the rest of his senior season with a broken ankle.The loss of Gustin is a huge blow to the defense, and it remains to be seen how it will fill the void of his absence on the pass rush. If the front seven can manage to step up, it’ll be huge for the Trojans’ chances.“They are a very good third down and one to five team,” Helton said. “You try to get them to a third and seven plus, and try and make them to a drop back pass team. That is where we thrive defensively, because we have the pass rush skill to get to the quarterback.”Injury reportGaoteote has been cleared to play after suffering a concussion against Colorado. He practiced on Thursday but will be a gametime decision on Saturday, along with senior linebacker Cameron Smith. Smith is progressing and moving around well, according to Helton. Redshirt senior cornerback Jonathan Lockett will travel to Utah with the team but will also be a gametime decision.Prediction: USC 28-Utah 21Expect this to be a tough, gritty game. Rice-Eccles Stadium is one of the toughest venues to play in college football, and with a Pac-12 South title in the balance, expect the Utes crowd to bring the noise and make life difficult for the Trojans. However, USC is built to match the strengths and weaknesses of this Utah team, able to light it up passing downfield and able to play tough run defense. It’ll be a hard fought contest, but look for the Trojans to eke this one out as they take advantage of the Ute’s aggressive front seven and slow down Moss and the run game.Steele decommitsFive-star cornerback Chris Steele from St. John Bosco High School decommitted on Thursday. “I have decided that it would be best for me to decommit from USC and open up my recruitment so that I can find a place that will help me reach all the goals that I wish to accomplish,” Steele tweeted in his statement. “There is no love lost for USC, it’s my hometown school and they will always hold a special place in my heart.”Nathan Hyun contributed to this report.last_img read more

Sam Low brings rugby experience from England to Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 23, 2018 at 6:17 pm At four years old, Sam Low didn’t enjoy the rugby practices his father brought him to. But once contact was added, he began to love the sport.Low, a Syracuse sophomore from a village called Castle Carrock in England, played soccer his entire life. Low’s background in soccer helped him become a valuable member of the Syracuse club rugby team, which began its season with four wins.Low started out playing flag rugby, which is a non-contact version played with flags, similar to flag football.“My dad is a big rugby fan,” Low said. “He went to the school where rugby was invented by William Webb Ellis.”By the time Low searched for colleges, he considered playing Division III soccer, but decided he didn’t want his time dictated by a sport. Low instead came to Syracuse, and after attending a few rugby practices, joined the team. He still plays soccer at the intramural level.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was apparent to the Hammerheads that Low was an experienced player.“Immediately I was like this guy is really good,” junior wing and fullback Jake Fegan said. “Way better than a lot of people here.”Low plays the fly-half position — behind the forwards and the “quarterback” of the offense —  and performs the kicking duties for Syracuse.Low’s kicking is used in four parts of the game: kickoff specialist, punts, field goals and kicks in play, head coach Robert Wilson said.“Having played soccer all my life, I can kick the ball very well,” Low said. “So I can give us a territorial advantage and kick penalties which give us three points and the conversions after a try will give us two points.”Low’s ability to effectively kick the ball helps Syracuse get out of tough situations. When the Hammerheads are backed up in their defensive end, a kick can get them out of trouble.“We know if we give it to Sam he will get the ball up the field and relieve the pressure,” Fegan said. “Soccer definitely helps him out with his kicking.”Low believes that rugby is gaining popularity in the United States. Rugby grew 82.4 percent in popularity in the U.S. from 2011 to 2016, according to rugbywarfare.com.Low helps out players on his team who are playing the sport for the first time. Wilson said that Low uses his experience to lead his teammates by example.When Low returns to the United Kingdom on vacation, he plays soccer, not rugby. He stays in shape and practices his kicking skills, which translate over to the rugby field.Low has high hopes for the rest of SU’s season. The Hammerheads last took the league title in 2015, before Low arrived. Wins in their final two games would clinch the title for Syracuse again.“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going,” Low said. “I think we have a good shot at winning our division this season.” Commentslast_img read more

Syracuse women’s lacrosse ACC Tournament opponent preview: What to know about Boston College

first_img Published on April 25, 2019 at 11:04 am Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34 After defeating No. 7 Virginia on Wednesday in the first round of the ACC tournament, No. 4 Syracuse (15-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) will take on No. 1 Boston College (18-0, 7-0) in the semifinals in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, at 5 p.m. on Friday. SU, the No. 4 seed both nationally and in the ACC, used a 9-2 first half to ultimately defeat the No. 5-seed Cavaliers, 12-10. The Eagles took down Louisville, 15-4, in their first-round contest.Here’s what to know before Friday’s matchup.Last time they played: The Orange jumped out to a 7-2 lead on the Eagles in the first half of their matchup on Feb. 16, but lost control of the game from there on out. Sam Apuzzo poured in seven goals to lead Boston College to a 14-12 comeback win, the smallest margin of victory for the Eagles all season.The Boston College report: The Eagles have been absolutely dominant this season and come into Friday’s matchup riding the nation’s longest active winning streak. Eight of their 18 wins have come by double-digits, and nine of them have been versus teams currently ranked in Inside Lacrosse’s top-20. After losing in the NCAA Championship the past two seasons, Boston College opened the season ranked No. 1 and has yet to relinquish that spot.The Eagles are paced by the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Apuzzo, who leads the country in points, and Kenzie Kent, BC’s other star attack, who leads the country in assists. Boston College is second in the country in scoring offense, draw control percentage and shot percentage. It leads the NCAA in draw controls per game and points per game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHow Syracuse beats Boston College: Control the pace of the game, slow down the Eagles’ high-powered offense and win draw controls. That’s what the Orange did for the first 22 minutes of their first game against Boston College, and it resulted in a 7-2 lead. When Syracuse stopped doing that and lost six draws in a row, the Eagles took advantage. Stopping the second-best offense in the country from scoring is far easier said than done, but it’s possible for SU.Syracuse has a Tewaaraton Award watch list member of its own in Emily Hawryschuk, who will likely take the majority of draws against Boston College as well as serve as the focal point of Syracuse’s offense. If she can establish any sort of consistency in the draw control circle, that’ll go a long way in helping the Orange’s offense grab and maintain the momentum of the game.Stat to know: 261 — The amount of goals BC’s Apuzzo has tallied in her storied career. That’s eighth-most in NCAA history and one ahead of Kayla Treanor, Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer. If Boston College reaches the championship games of both the ACC and NCAA tournaments and Apuzzo scores at the same pace she has all season, she’d score 24 more goals and finish with 285 in her career, which would place her fourth in history. She needs 38 more scores to push her to second place but appears out of reach of the all-time record, which Courtney Murphy holds with 341.Player to watch: Kenzie Kent, attack, No. 4While Apuzzo gets most of the attention, it’s Kent who facilitates the Boston College offense. Her 58 assists this season lead the country and are more than twice as many as Nicole Levy’s 26, which lead Syracuse. But lacrosse might not even be Kent’s best sport. The 2016-17 ACC Athlete of the Year, Kent played four years for the Boston College women’s ice hockey team and finished her career fourth all-time in assists and eighth in points. Kent’s played on five career Final Four teams — three in hockey and two in lacrosse — but has yet to win an NCAA championship. Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

Miranda Hearn overcame early season struggles and improved her pitching arsenal

first_img Published on May 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+ When Miranda Hearn entered the pitching circle for the first time against Notre Dame on March 30, she carried a 7.29 ERA and had thrown only one scoreless outing — with a full inning pitched — in more than a month. Facing Notre Dame junior Katie Marino in the fourth inning, the first pitch was a ball far from the strike zone. The next pitch was a slow fastball outside. Three pitches later, Marino walked to first base. The next batter, UND senior Cait Brooks, walked on four outside pitches to put two runners on with no outs.Assistant coach Miranda Kramer walked to the mound and put her hand on Hearn’s shoulder. Hearn was relieved after only nine pitches: eight balls and one strike.“They catch onto her stuff because it’s very slow,” Kramer said. “She wasn’t great with her stuff early on, but she’s getting to where we want her to be.”After that series, head coach Shannon Doepking, Kramer and assistant coach Vanessa Shippy tried to bring Hearn “back to the basics” through various drills and a shift toward trusting her curveball, Hearn said. Doepking also asked Hearn to show more emotion.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHearn, a sophomore, is a valuable pitcher behind junior ace Alexa Romero for Syracuse (21-31, 8-16 Atlantic Coast) as it enters the ACC tournament. Her ERA is now at 4.77 before the Orange face North Carolina State (29-26, 9-15) on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida. Doepking needed Hearn because Sophie Dandola missed a month due to a concussion suffered in a car crash, Dandola said. Unlike a month ago, Doepking can now trust Hearn to pitch a few solid innings.“I was just trying to make things too complicated and I was over-correcting my movements,” Hearn said. “I got tired of letting myself down.”When Hearn was young, she learned to pitch with the flip and the flamingo drills. Both are rudimentary but add power and drive to pitches. To find her form, Hearn went back to what she first knew.The flip drill entails Hearn holding her arm next to her hip. She’d then flick it forward across her body, mimicking a normal pitch. This ensures that all four seams rotate during the pitch, building wrist strength while increasing accuracy and velocity.Following that, she implemented leg and hip workouts with the flamingo drill. Standing on one foot, she’d rock the other back then drive it toward the plate. Releasing the ball as the other foot hits the ground, this focuses on a strong push-off to boost movement and rotation.“I wasn’t doing as many drills to work on things before,” Hearn said. “Finally, I just started to keep things simple because that’s what’s best.”Given her lack of velocity, she needed to add different pitches to her repertoire and keep batters off-balance to become an effective starter in the ACC, Doepking said.Kramer and Doepking set up a dummy to impersonate a batter. With the better spin and movement that she had already worked on, Hearn started to employ a “backdoor curve,” she said. Unlike a traditional curveball the backdoor curve breaks from the middle to the left side of the plate. Against right handed hitters, this surprises them by moving inside, freshman AJ Kaiser said.“I think it’s the fact that you see it outside, and timing-wise, you’re thinking ‘let it get deep’ because it’s outside, but then it comes in and you jam yourself,” Kaiser said.Hearn’s most important improvement came from that meeting with Doepking: She needed to show more passion in the circle.Hearn is not naturally emotional; she’s not like Romero, who often screams after strikeouts. Kramer called her “stale-faced” and Doepking said she is “introverted.” It’s not normal for her to fist pump like Dandola or Romero after ending innings.She’s forced herself to show emotion by dancing to music on the mound. When she’s in the dugout, she sometimes wears a cowboy hat and shoots her teammates with a toy water gun.“If you watch her now, you’ll see some fist pumps and you’ll see some emotion that you didn’t see at the beginning of the year,” Doepking said. “I think … the team wants to play behind Miranda.”Hearn had her most complete outing of the season against Cornell on May 1. Using her fastball, changeup and backdoor curve, Hearn “fooled” the Big Red, Kaiser said. She threw the first complete-game shutout of her career.It was a drastic change from that effort against Notre Dame and even senior Alicia Hansen’s fiance Antwan Cordy knew it.“Hey, Miranda,” he yelled from the bleachers, “you were awesome today.” Commentslast_img read more

Sondre Norheim crucial for Syracuse in attack and defense this season

first_img Published on October 29, 2019 at 8:12 pm Contact David: ddschnei@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse needed a breakthrough on Oct. 15 against Connecticut, and its open play offense wasn’t producing with the game still scoreless. Its production on set pieces had struggled much of the season, but on the seventh corner kick of the night, Sondre Norheim snuck in a pocket of space between four Huskies defenders.Massimo Ferrin’s service was perfect, and a wide-open Norheim nodded the ball in at the near post.In one of the Huskies’ final attacks of the night, UConn’s Dayonn Harris received the ball on the left flank and drove at Norheim one-on-one. Harris cut inside then quickly switched directions, but Norheim lunged in and won the ball, preserving SU’s clean sheet in an eventual 1-0 win.“He goes up against guys that are supposed to be really, really good players and he makes them look average,” Norheim’s backline partner Nyal Higgins said. “He gets forward a lot and scores goals. He’s had a great impact on the team.”Norheim’s sturdy defending and timely attacking has driven Syracuse (7-4-4, 2-3-2 Atlantic Coast) to four wins and three clean sheets in its last five games, keeping the Orange’s chances of hosting a first-round game in the ACC tournament alive. Over that span, Norheim has scored four goals — all from headers off set pieces — and shown his experience in defense to help SU to its best run of form of the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKarleigh Merritt-Henry | Digital Design EditorHead coach Ian McIntyre recruited Norheim in 2016 to be Syracuse’s next big, physical center back in place of the Major League Soccer-bound Miles Robinson and graduating Louis Cross. He joined the program in February 2017 and was paired that fall with then-junior Kamal Miller to anchor the Orange’s backline, starting 17 games.“We had some big shoes to fill,” McIntyre said. “We were trying to continue that kind of dominant, physical defender. Sondre brings that.”In his first two seasons, Norheim missed just one game due to a suspension after he received a red card against Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in his second career match. He went on to start 33 consecutive games spanning until the end of his sophomore season. After a back injury in the spring of 2019 carried into the fall, Norheim missed his first-ever game because of injury, SU’s season-opener against then-No. 13 Georgetown.Norheim said even in the offseason, he has “always been in good shape.” McIntyre called Norheim “arguably the hardest working guy on the team on and off the field.”“It’s my job to be ready for each game,” Norheim said.Norheim’s durability has allowed him to stay on the field and lead the Orange’s backline, which, unlike past years, lacked experience playing together. Prior to this season, SU’s two other starting center backs — Higgins and Dylan McDonald — had appeared in a combined four games against ACC opponents, and never in the same game.Karleigh Merritt-Henry | Digital Design EditorWhen Norheim’s back injury prevented him from playing against Georgetown, McIntyre went away from his preferred three-at-the-back system and changed to a back four with Higgins and McDonald as the center backs. The defensive unit “wasn’t mature,” Higgins said, and the Orange conceded three times against Georgetown, including two in one minute in the second half to put the game out of reach.“(Sondre) brings a veteran type of quality to the team,” Higgins said. “That’s what we were looking for in that first game.”At one point, the Orange had earned the most corners in the nation without scoring a goal. Ferrin’s service has improved of late, though, and Norheim has been the beneficiary.His first goal was SU’s equalizing third goal against UNC off a free kick. Three days later, he scored the winner against Connecticut. Four days after that, Norheim scored twice in the Orange’s 7-4 loss to No. 8 Clemson. His four goals on the year rank tied for third among Syracuse players and bring him to nine total in his college career after five as a sophomore.“If you’re going into the box, your mentality should be, ‘I’m going to score,’” Norheim said. “Sometimes (the ball) ends up in your area, and you have to be in the right mindset to go get it.”Norheim’s physical stature makes him hard to handle in one-on-one situations. At 6-foot-4, Norheim is the tallest player on Syracuse’s roster. If his height wasn’t enough, Norheim added six pounds of muscle to his 180-pound frame this past offseason.In what was an inexperienced, mistake-ridden defensive unit at the start of the season, Norheim’s veteran presence and leadership have made them complete, evident in SU’s 3-0 win over No. 23 North Carolina State on Saturday. With the postseason nearing, the Orange’s backline must be at its best to give SU its best chance of advancing and potentially securing a home game in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments.“We’ve been progressing and we’re going to keep progressing,” Higgins said. “We’re getting better. We’re maturing as a unit.” Commentslast_img read more

Superlatives from Syracuse’s 67-63 loss to Virginia Tech

first_imgSyracuse (8-7, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) lost 67-63 to Virginia Tech (11-4, 2-2 ACC). The Orange controlled most of the game, but gave away their lead with under 10 minutes left in the game. The loss further damages the Orange’s resume, and tournament hopes.Here are superlatives from the game:The Big Moment: Jalen Cone’s 3-pointer plus a foulDown by two after two Joe Girard III free throws, Virginia Tech worked it around the arc to the freshman Cone in the corner. The Hokies had struggled to get the ball to the corner all game, opting to pass along the elbows a majority of the time, but whenever they worked it to the corners, the Orange struggled to rotate.Marek Dolezaj rotated out to Cone late and threw his hand towards Cone’s torso. Cone sold it well, fell to the ground while the shot went through the net. The play jump-started an offensive and defensive stand for the Hokies that ballooned their lead to eight points. The Orange gave a fight near the end of the game, but after Cone’s 3-pointer turned the game around SU never had control.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStud: Joe Girard IIIThe freshman picked back up from where he left off in the Orange’s matchup against Notre Dame, he even came out much more aggressive. Rather than look for spot-up 3-pointers that have defined him in his early Syracuse career, the freshman flashed a pull-up jumper in addition to several hard drives to the rim. While they were unsuccessful early, Girard’s ability to use his dribble to get into the lane created several opportunities.Dud: Bourama SidibeSidibe had a strong start to the Orange’s matchup with Notre Dame, but against Virginia Tech Sidibe was pushed around easily despite being the tallest player on the floor. Sidibe’s height was supposed to give the Orange an advantage, but in the first half, Jim Boeheim had to go to Quincy Guerrier, whose strength was a much better match for the Hokies physical defenders.In the second half, Sidibe started with active hands and even recorded a steal. But a quick foul just under three minutes into the half forced Boeheim to make the switch back to Guerrier. Boeheim gave Sidibe another chance out of a timeout with a little over 11 minutes to go in the game and the junior center turned over the ball trying to dribble in the paint. Guerrier replaced him immediately.Highlight: Marek Dolezaj’s lob to Bourama SidibeAfter he was urged by Jim Boeheim on the sideline, Girard looked to the high-post on his next trip down the court early in the first half. After a pass to Marek Dolezaj brought all the defense out to the free throw line, Dolezaj turned with little hesitation and fired a lob to a cutting Sidibe who finished powerfully at the rim, energizing an early SU run.Lowlight: Marek Dolezaj turns the ball over at the top of the keyOut of a timeout midway through the second half, Marek Dolezaj held the ball at the high post and tried to put the ball on the floor to make a play. But the ball was poked away from him and Landers Nolley II finished on the other end of the floor with an uncontested dunk. The dunk knotted the game at 42 points and capped a nine-point Virginia Tech comeback. Comments Published on January 7, 2020 at 11:27 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more