first_imgThe ripple effect took hold of Syracuse and never let go. From one shooter to another, Syracuse found its stroke for the second consecutive game, elevating its confidence and building a lead that ballooned to as much as 33.The shooting woes of the past have, for now, been transformed into a complete offensive performance combining outside shooting with the Orange’s trademark high-low game plan.‘I think it’s kind of a ripple effect,’ SU guard Elashier Hall said. ‘Once one person gets going, it gets them confident, and then the confidence just builds throughout the whole team.’Syracuse rode a 45 percent shooting performance to a 76-61 victory over South Florida on Saturday in front of 860 inside the Carrier Dome. The Orange (15-9, 4-6 Big East) drained four 3-pointers, two coming from guard La’Shay Taft, and also saw center Kayla Alexander provide 17 points from the low post. Hall shot 6-of-8 for 15 points, and forward Iasia Hemingway led the balanced scoring effort with 24 points, going 9-of-14 from the field.After SU’s 80-54 blowout win over Providence last Tuesday, during which it shot nearly 58 percent, the Orange came into its game against the Bulls (12-12, 4-6) with a renewed belief that the shots it has been taking all season might finally start to fall on a consistent basis.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘The shots we’ve had all year are starting to fall,’ head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘We’ve always gotten good looks. They did a good job of getting the floor spaced and getting themselves to areas where they can score. So now, they’re just falling. They’re shooting the ball with confidence.’Defenses have routinely been packing the paint to strip SU of its go-to options inside on offense. And for much of the season, the Orange’s shooters have been essentially nonfactors.But on Saturday, Syracuse finally provided some punch from the outside, forcing the Bulls to open up the low post and defend around the perimeter. And for the entire first half, SU had little trouble beating the USF defense.Hemingway gave SU offensive production in just about every way possible. She started the game off by dishing the ball down low to Alexander for a layup to give SU an early 2-0 lead. Then the forward drained two free throws, and less than a minute later, she took a pass from guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas at the top of the lane for a catch-and-shoot jumper.And Hemingway did all of that with USF’s defense collapsing on her every move.‘Honestly, I just want to give the credit to my teammates getting the ball back to me,’ Hemingway said. ‘In the first half, they were pancaking, and they weren’t letting me get the throwback. But my teammates found a way to get me the ball.’With about five minutes remaining in the first half, Syracuse also had a rare five-point play from Alexander after the center made a layup. South Florida center Akila McDonald was called for both a personal and technical foul.Alexander drained all three free throws to cap off a 10-0 run that put SU up 34-14 en route to a 39-20 halftime lead. During that span, SU had a 3 from Taft, a jumper from Hemingway and the layup from Alexander.Syracuse’s dominant first half established its offense for the second and also put the Bulls in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.Late in the game, South Florida began to amp up the intensity of its full-court press, at one point forcing two straight turnovers by SU guard Rachel Coffey. But by that point, USF had no chance to put together a comeback.‘The same sort of thing happened at Providence, we got up, had a few turnovers late,’ Hillsman said. ‘So we just have to work on that late-game situation of people scrambling and pressing us a little bit. … I’m glad we were up 30 so it didn’t matter.’As the season winds down, Syracuse appears to be hitting its stroke at the right time. For now, the Orange’s offense is becoming significantly better with contributions from the outside to go with its hallmarks of rebounding and post play.‘The one thing I told our players was that we needed to come out and rebound the basketball and make shots and shoot at least 40 percent to win this basketball game,’ Hillsman said. ‘That’s what we did. We came out, made some shots and did a very good job of getting good shots.’cjiseman@syr.edu  Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on February 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemanlast_img read more

first_img Published on February 21, 2018 at 10:35 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ The first two weeks of No. 16 Syracuse’s (1-1) season could not have been more different from each other. The Orange opened the season with a 21-4 shellacking of Binghamton (0-3), where 12 different players scored for SU.The Orange followed up its massive opening-day win with one of its worst losses in decades. Then-No. 4 Albany (1-0) thrashed the Orange, 15-3, in the Great Danes first game of the season, earning its second win against the Orange in program history and handing SU its worst home defeat since a 19-6 loss against Cornell in 1987.This Saturday, SU finishes up its opening home stand against No. 9 Army (3-0), which is coming off a 9-7 win against No. 13 Rutgers. One key piece that may be missing, though, is Army’s “top defender,” Johnny Surdick, Army head coach Joe Alberici said. Surdick missed last Saturday’s contest against Rutgers due to an injury. In his place, senior long-stick midfielder Jon LaMonica moved to defense, finishing with a team-leading 14 ground balls. Alberici is “hopeful” Surdick will play on Saturday, but that is to be determined.The last two seasons, Army and Syracuse have split their matchups. Syracuse won, 9-8, in 2016 and lost, 14-13, in 2017. In last year’s contest, SU had to play without its all-time faceoff leader in Ben Williams, but it had veteran go-to scorers in Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido. This year’s Syracuse team is much different, while Army’s is much of the same.Veteran attackAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Syracuse lost three of its top-five scorers from last season, the Black Knights return all but one of their top-five scorers, including 2017 USILA All-American Honorable Mention David Symmes, who played hero last season against SU, putting a game-winner past Evan Molloy with 0.5 seconds remaining.“Symmes is an impressive athlete,” Alberici said. “Great size. Good speed. Shoots the ball hard.”So far this season, the senior ranks third on the team with nine points — six goals and three assists. Tied for first are Nate Jones and Conor Glancy, who each have tallied 10 points through their first three games. Both seniors found the back of the net last year against SU. Army returns all but two players who scored in last season’s game.Still, Army isn’t the same offensive juggernaut that Albany is. Last week, Syracuse’s defense was exhausted in the second half, sophomore defender Nick Mellen said.“We can’t say let’s do what Tehoka (Nanticoke) did,” Alberici said. “We just don’t have that guy.”The Black Knights do not have a Nanticoke-type talent, but they do have a diverse, experienced offense that can attack its opponents in many different ways.Battle at the faceoff XThen-freshman Danny Varello first made his name as a collegiate faceoff specialist against Army last season, winning 10-of-17 faceoffs against Dan Grabher, the fifth-leading faceoff specialist in the country at the end of the 2017 season. Against Binghamton two weeks ago, Varello dominated, winning 15-of-17 en route to being named to the USILA Team of the Week.“He dominated,” Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown said following the game. “It’s tough to win a ball game when you don’t have the ball.”Syracuse suffered a similar fate last Saturday against Albany. Varello folded, winning 3-of-13 against TD Ierlan, and SU rarely possessed the ball in its three-goal performance.Varello struggled mightily to win the ball against Albany, and has struggled with turnovers in both games. Against the Bearcats, Varello turned the ball over on 20 percent of his face-off wins.Ahead 4-0 in the first quarter, Varello won the faceoff against Binghamton’s Brendan Patterson. After the win, two Bearcats midfielders double-teamed Varello. Instead looking for the easy pass back to his defense, Varello tried to force a one-handed pass to a midfielder, resulting in a turnover.On Saturday, Army will bring that same pressure.“Our goal will be to try to make it a 10-man game as much as we can,” Alberici said.Plus, Army’s faceoff specialist, John Ragno, doubles down as a short-stick defensive midfielder as well. A good athlete, Alberici said, Ragno is especially tough to beat when the ball is on the ground, plus his win percentage at the faceoff X is one of the best in the country at 67.6 percent.“We’re going to rely on him to make it scrappy,” Alberici said.Do-it-all playersRagno isn’t Army’s only multi-dimensional weapon. Sophomore midfielder Matt Manown has become one of Alberici’s go-to players as a two-way midfielder.Manown is one of the best defensive players on the team, Alberici said, and his offense is only getting better. Manown led the Black Knights with four points against Rutgers — two goals and two assists.A former hockey player, Manown will work defensively to eliminate easy shots around the crease from the likes of Nate Solomon and Brendan Bomberry.“Whatever it is you ask him to do, whenever, it’s a nod and he’s going to do it to his best ability,” Alberici said. “We anticipated Matt to be that two-way midfielder for us that would go back defensively and get stops when we needed them. At a loose ball pile, he comes off ripping again and again and again.”What the coaching staff did not anticipate is Manown to rank fourth on the team in scoring, just two points behind Symmes, creating a more diverse offense than even Army thought it had.But for all the talk about SU’s struggles against Albany, Alberici knows there is more to SU than what people saw on Saturday. The first half, he said, was much closer than the scoreboard indicated, and the missed opportunities that Syracuse couldn’t capitalize on was what made the team struggle so badly in the second half. But Army isn’t Albany. And the loss to the Great Danes is in the past. Alberici knows SU isn’t focused on it anymore, and he knows his team cannot focus on it either.“We need to set the tone,” Alberici said. “What happened last week shouldn’t dictate what happens in this game. That’s going to be before we step on the field.” Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNew Equity Venture International, also known as NEVI, has purchased Copenhagen Flames, an organisation that houses competitive rosters in Overwatch, Rocket League, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., and Hearthstone. NEVI invests in both listed and unlisted companies, helping to launch, develop, and support businesses.As explained by Copenhagen Flames in its announcement, this acquisition will “enhance our financial capabilities” and “accelerate our current growth.”Copenhagen Flames not only competes in multiple esports titles; it hosts tournaments and events, too. It plans to continue to organise, produce and plan events – including those for Cross Border Esport, a non-profit organisation that plans to develop esports in southern Denmark and across the border of Germany.New Equity Venture International will also provide knowledge in organisational structure, business development, and strategic planning to the organisation. Both Steffen Thomas and Daniel Vorborg, who act as CEO and Head of Esports respectively, will retain their roles following the purchase. NEVI currently invests in a range of companies, including businesses that sell espresso machines to pharmaceutical brands.Going beyond competing, Copenhagen Flames is also behind initiatives such as Scouting Grounds. Recently signing a partnership with Red Bull, the event was first hosted in May 2017 and saw unsigned talent and free agents compete for a chance to prove themselves and further their budding career in esports.Esports Insider says: Copenhagen Flames has done some interesting things since its inception in 2016, acting beyond having teams competing. With the backing of a large investor such as NEVI, we’re looking forward to seeing how the organisation goes about expanding and developing its offering.last_img read more

first_imgBOSTON (AP) — The Celtics and Bulls found another thing to argue about after Game 5 of their spirited first-round playoff series:Was Avery Bradley more impressive on offense, or on defense?“Everyone knows he’s a good defender. Tonight, he got his offensive game going,” Chicago’s Dwyane Wade said after Bradley scored 24 points to lead Boston to a 108-97 victory and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.“You expect him to do what he does defensively, but we gave up 24 points to him tonight. He hurt us offensively tonight more than anything.”Isaiah Thomas also scored 24 for the Celtics, the top seed in the East. After the road team won each of the first four games, the Celtics won at home in Game 5 to earn a chance to eliminate the Bulls on Friday night in Chicago. A Bulls victory would force the series back to Boston for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.Al Horford had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Celtics. Bradley’s 24 points were a career playoff high, but after watching him hold Bulls star Jimmy Butler to 14 points — and just one foul shot — Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised Bradley’s defense.“Jimmy Butler’s a hard guy to guard. Dwyane Wade’s a hard guy to guard. You’re not going to stop those guys, but you just try to make it as hard as possible,” Stevens said. “Avery … has done a really good job.”Butler, who shot 23 free throws in Game 4 and made 19, was 0 for 1 on Wednesday.“I was trying to eliminate letting Jimmy Butler get to the free throw line. That was my goal this game, and I feel like I did it,” Bradley said.Wade had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. But Wade and Robin Lopez were called for technical fouls 32 seconds apart with just under five minutes left, helping the Celtics to a 20-5 run that turned an 84-84 game into a 15-point Boston lead.The Bulls cut it to nine before Horford got loose for a dunk, Wade missed a 3-pointer and then Horford fed Jae Crowder for a layup that made it 108-95 with 99 seconds to play.Despite the technical fouls, there was little of the tension that characterized Game 4, when Butler and Marcus Smart got in each other’s face on the court and continued the criticism in their postgame comments.The Celtics started slowly on their home court, making just one of their first nine shots to fall behind 12-4. Boston missed its first eight 3-point attempts before making three in a row at the end of the first quarter.TIP-INSBulls: Before winning the first two games of the series, Chicago had only won one playoff game in Boston ever — Game 1 of the 2009 first round. … Butler brought the ball down with 6.2 seconds left in the third quarter and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulls an 81-79 lead. … The Bulls had 16 turnovers that led to 23 Boston points. The Celtics only had six turnovers, leading to four Bulls points.Celtics: There were at least nine members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the crowd, and a handful of players from the Boston Bruins as well. … Thomas missed his first four shots and didn’t make a basket until a second-chance 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the first half. … Gerald Green made his third start, but he played less than 13 minutes and finished with two points after scoring 18 with seven rebounds in Game 4.RONDORajon Rondo, who was the point guard on the 2008 Celtics team that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA title, did not play for the third straight game because of the broken thumb and strained ligament in his right wrist. He was on the court handling a basketball with his left hand before the game, then sat on the Bulls bench in a suit — this one with sleeves — and cheered on his teammates.The Bulls fell to 0-3 without him in the series, with Wade largely taking over as point guard in Game 5.CARRY ONBulls coach Fred Hoiberg made waves after Game 4 when he questioned whether Thomas was getting away with carrying the ball when he dribbled.Thomas took exception with the suggestion, saying it was the way he’d dribbled his entire career and was no different than the style of other All-Stars such as LeBron James and Rondo.The final question to Hoiberg Wednesday was whether he’d had spotted any illegal dribbles from Thomas in the Game 5 loss.“No,” he said, before walking out.JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more