WBB : WRECKING BALL: Connecticut demolishes Syracuse behind hot shooting in 2nd half

first_img Published on January 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Quentin Hillsman couldn’t contain his frustration any longer.Rachel Coffey failed to extend out to the shooter from Syracuse’s 2-3 zone early in the second half, and Connecticut guard Bria Hartley buried the Huskies’ second consecutive 3-pointer of the half to push their lead to 13.The Syracuse head coach called timeout and leapt out of his seat. He lurched past his players to the middle of the key and slammed his hands together, screaming audibly.The shots that did not fall for the Huskies in the first half were beginning to sink through the net in droves. Syracuse’s effort to keep the game within reach at halftime held no purpose.‘We lost by 40. You can’t take anything positive when you lose by 40 points,’ Hillsman said. ‘We had a great opportunity in this basketball game, and I’m not going to take anything positive from this game.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Syracuse led by as many as seven points in the first half and headed into halftime with a hard-fought seven-point deficit, UConn’s lead grew exponentially. No. 3 Connecticut (18-2, 7-1 Big East) put on a scoring clinic in the second half, and Syracuse’s strong start was negated as the Orange (13-8, 2-5) was battered 95-54 in front of a program-record 4,357 fans in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. After hanging on through the first half, Syracuse fell flat defensively immediately after halftime as the Huskies cruised to the victory. Tiffany Hayes put forth a mammoth performance for the Huskies, scoring 35 points on 11-of-15 shooting.In the first half, SU opened an 18-11 lead behind the play of its interior players. Iasia Hemingway and Kayla Alexander opened the game with 12 of the team’s 18 points. And the Orange stayed with the Huskies as the No. 3 team was uncharacteristically cold from the floor.Syracuse limited the Huskies’ frontcourt tandem of Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes to 1-of-8 shooting in the first half. And by leaving UConn one-dimensional, SU entered halftime trailing 40-33.‘I thought in the first half our big guys weren’t very good,’ UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. ‘They ended up getting to the rim, getting to the free-throw line and kept us from doing what we wanted to do in the lane.’But that all changed in the second half. With a redefined focus on the frontcourt, the Huskies ran rampant. After Hartley’s 3 pushed Connecticut’s lead to 48-35, the perimeter offense continued to open.With 17:29 remaining in the second half, Carmen Tyson-Thomas turned the ball over and Hartley was fouled. After sinking the first free throw, Hartley missed the second, Dolson grabbed the rebound and kicked it out on the right wing to Kaleen Mosqueda-Lewis, who sunk a wide-open 3. The triple increased the Huskies’ lead to 52-35 and burned another one of Hillsman’s timeouts.And UConn began to hamper the Orange defensively. Easy looks at the basket transformed into desperation heaves at the rim and feeble attempts to draw fouls near the basket. Hemingway, who had 12 points in the first half, finished just 4-of-11 from the field.‘They did a really good job in the second half of running another player at Iasia,’ Hillsman said, ‘and she still put the ball on the floor some, and she pitched it out, and we missed some shots.’UConn exposed all of the deficiencies in SU’s 2-3 zone throughout the second half.As Dolson and Stokes began to heat up in the post, SU struggled to close out around the perimeter. UConn guard Tiffany Hayes caught fire from deep in the second half, the dagger coming in the form of a 3 from the top of the key with 9:56 remaining.Hayes hit the shot in transition and just let her right arm hang, her third consecutive trey in the half. It pushed UConn’s lead to 30 points and nullified any resilience SU had remaining from its strong first half. Hayes shot 6-of-8 from 3 for the game.UConn’s lead continued to grow as SU’s shooting fell flat. The Orange shot 8-of-33 in the second half, and the Huskies dominated in all facets of the game. ‘I think they got the ball into the high post a little bit too easily in the second half,’ Hillsman said, ‘and they were able to get a lot of offense with that when they spread us out.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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