Late 1st half run helps No. 3 Stanford pull away from No. 18 Syracuse

first_img Published on November 30, 2019 at 1:39 am Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew When Gabrielle Cooper’s second free throw bounced off the rim and into the hands of Anna Wilson, she immediately swung the ball up the floor in transition. Syracuse was already down 14 and with the Orange’s latest attempt at a spark secured, Wilson eventually found Hannah Jump on the left wing.The freshman guard rose and knocked down her eighth 3-pointer of the night, a main source of offense when the Cardinal needed one to counteract their own shooting slumps. Syracuse had only seven 3-pointers all game at that point. The next time down the court, Stanford hit another 3, and its lead extended to 20.“(Jump) played fantastic,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “She got wide open looks at the rim and was tough to guard.”Just one day after the Orange’s offense had their best output of the young season, they sputtered against Stanford. As quick as Thursday’s point totals climbed toward those from last year, they dropped back down on Friday as an offense that’s struggled to find consistent rhythm faced the same issue. The Orange only shot 15-for-61 from the field against Stanford, and an 11-0 run by the Cardinal to close the first half created a lead that reached as large as 20 in the third quarter. Instead of earning a spot in the Greater Victoria Invitational finals against a third top-10 opponent this week, the No. 18 Orange (4-2) lost 77-59 to No. 3 Stanford (7-0) and face unranked Green Bay in the consolation game tomorrow.“You can look at this game and see they’re the No. 3 team in the country,” Hillsman said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn Syracuse’s tournament-opening win against Houston on Thursday night, a 51.6% field goal percentage sparked an offensive operation not seen in the Orange’s first four games of the year. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi continued her season-long development as a shooter and notched a career-high 16 points while Kiara Lewis neared a triple-double — acting as both the producer and facilitator SU needs her to be.Early on against the Cardinal, Syracuse managed to match that scoring rate. Then Lewis air-balled a jump-shot and that spiraled into a first quarter where the Orange and Stanford combined for 8-for-29 from the field — including 2-of-15 on 3-pointers. SU, saved by the fact that the Cardinal missed their own open looks, only trailed by three after 10 minutes.But then Stanford began to capitalize off the entrance passes to Amaya Finklea-Guity that got knocked away. It turned the shooting slumps of Gabrielle Cooper and Emily Engstler into its own transition points, capitalizing on a frame when Syracuse had just one field goal. “That’s gonna do it for you,” Hillsman said.A third-quarter burst by the Orange threatened to close the gap. Three-pointers by Digna Strautmane, Engstler and Teisha Hyman trimmed the Stanford lead to 11 by the final 10 minutes. But similar to how Oregon pulled away from the Orange last Sunday with a 31-point third quarter, the Cardinal used 26 in the fourth to do the same.“It’s just one quarter against Stanford and one quarter against Oregon,” Hillsman said. Djaldi-Tabdi drained her second 3 of the night from the corner and Lewis drove in the lane to draw a foul on consecutive possessions, but then the Cardinal began to connect on jump shots again. Their pause in the early stages of the fourth quarter had allowed the lead to dance in and out of single digits. Then, it quickly extended up to 14, 17 and eventually settled at 18 by the time the final horn sounded, signifying the Orange’s largest loss since last year’s ACC tournament against Notre Dame.Back-to-back double digit games from Djaldi-Tabdi and Lewis weren’t enough, and Syracuse sputters into its tournament finale with similar offensive questions it had entering it. Just as the bright spots were starting to emerge, Stanford’s tight man-to-man defense covered them back up. SU shots started to again clank off the rim and bounce off the backboard, and whistles pierced the air signaling turnovers, a second defeat in three games inching closer.“Our pressure picked up and we started forcing some tempo, forcing some turnovers,” Hillsman said, “That was the key to the game, we just gotta continue to play for 40 minutes. We can’t play 30 minutes against good teams.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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