Syracuse wins 2nd-straight game while losing the turnover battle, 75-63, against Hartford

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 In the middle of the third quarter on Monday, Miranda Drummond saw Digna Strautmane streaking down the floor ahead of the defense. Drummond tried to connect a pass with her teammate but overthrew Strautmane, allowing Hartford’s Darby Lee to steal the ball. On the next possession Drummond was trapped just over halfcourt by two Hartford players and ended up throwing a pass straight to Lee.Syracuse (3-0) turned the ball over more than its opponent for the second game in a row on Monday, coughing up the ball 18 times to Hartford’s 14. But the Orange overcame that negative margin, again, in its victory over Hartford (1-3), 75-63 in the Carrier Dome. In the Orange’s last game, against Maryland Eastern Shore, SU lost the turnover battle, 25-22.“There was a time in that game where we could have blew it open or we could have laid down,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “But our kids just dug in and they fought hard.”For a team that presses for much of every game that it plays, losing the turnover battle is not ideal for SU. Many turnovers resembled the overthrow that Drummond had in the second half on Monday. Just a few possessions after Drummond’s second turnover in as many trips down the floor, Tiana Mangakahia spotted Amaya Finklea-Guity open down the middle of the floor on a fast break.Mangakahia looped the ball over the defenders in front of her but it didn’t come down quite in time. The 6-foot-4 Finklea-Guity could only get her fingertips on the ball before it went out of bounds.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We just need to slow down a bit more, we’re rushing things, especially when they press us,” Mangakahia, SU’s point guard, said. “We just need to be stronger with the ball and take care of the ball. You can’t really teach that, you just have to come out and do it.”The other type of turnover that plagued the Orange against Hartford came when SU faced double teams. The Hawks trapped all over the floor, and sometimes SU squeezed passes out of the traps and broke down the floor. But on a few occasions, like when Isis Young faced a trap along the right sideline in the fourth quarter, Syracuse tried to throw a pass through the arms being held high by the Hawks and instead had the pass deflected and stolen.Of last year’s Syracuse roster, only Gabrielle Cooper and Chelayne Bailey have gotten minutes so far this season. The other returners, Abby Grant and Desiree Elmore, have yet to play due to injury. The majority of SU’s minutes have been played by players who don’t have much experience playing together.When Mangakahia overthrew Finklea-Guity, it was a junior college transfer just a few months into her time at Syracuse overthrowing a freshman. When Isis Young or Jasmine Nwajei, both in their third games for the Orange, were trapped by a double team, they were often unable to find an escape. Postgame, Gabrielle Cooper and Hillsman both felt that as the players play together more, turnovers will dissipate.“We have a team, they haven’t played together much,” Hillsman said. “It’s gonna come, we just gotta continue to play fast, rebound the basketball, make shots.”Syracuse found ways to win while frequently turning the ball over. Hillsman credited the team’s work on the offensive glass — which has led to more offensive rebounds than its opponent for three games in a row for SU – and the defensive glass, which he said helps to limit the opposition to one shot even after a turnover. Syracuse finished Monday’s game with 16 offensive rebounds, including five from Strautmane, and that was enough to beat Hartford.Against two teams that left the Carrier Dome with records below .500, Syracuse turned the ball over more than its opponent. In those two games, Syracuse overcame its negative turnover margin to win. As the season goes on, SU will face stronger opponents that presumably would take advantage of winning the turnover battle. For now, Cooper isn’t worried.“Throughout the season, (the turnover) number is going to go down,” Cooper said. “We’re just going to know each other a little bit better.” Commentslast_img

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