WBB : SU makes adjustment, improves rebounding in 2nd half

first_imgCarmen Tyson-Thomas leaned forward in her chair to urge her Syracuse teammates to grab the next rebound and box out. Tyson-Thomas watched as Long Beach State’s Lauren Spargo corralled a missed layup and tipped the ball back out to reset the 49ers offense.While the new possession began, Tyson-Thomas threw her arm out in frustration and settled back into her seat on the bench.Spargo’s offensive rebound was one of 13 for Long Beach State in the first half, courtesy of missed box out assignments by the Orange.‘We weren’t in the right place,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘And they were going after the ball pretty hard. So we have to just know our rebounding areas and get better box outs.’Syracuse’s trouble on the glass was a glaring area that needed to be improved at halftime. Despite building a 22-point lead through 20 minutes, the Orange (1-0) had only managed four points off second-chance opportunities and finished the half tied with Long Beach State (1-1) with 25 rebounds. SU came out more aggressive on both ends of the floor in the second half to outrebound the 49ers by 21 overall en route to an 81-42 victory Sunday in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor a team that led the nation in rebounding margin last season, it was an uncharacteristic performance in the first half.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said that the first-half struggle in rebounding was the result of the team’s focus on its new pressure defense. The press allowed Long Beach State to take quick shots before the defense could get set, leaving the paint open for the 49ers to get rebounds.Hillsman also said Long Beach State’s aggressive 1-3-1 trapping scheme affected how the Orange played. The 49ers’ defensive pressure forced the Orange to extend its offense out further, with center Kayla Alexander playing in a mid-post area so it couldn’t get its inside game established.‘So I think the defense made us kind of spread out and not play like we normally play deep in on the blocks,’ Hillsman said. ‘ … I thought that could have contributed to us not really getting to the glass enough in the first half.’Hillsman was sure to remind his team that the 49ers grabbed four more offensive rebounds than the Orange at the break.Alexander, who only had one rebound in the first half, said that reminder changed the team’s mentality coming out for the second half.The new attitude was on display early as Tyson-Thomas pulled in an offensive rebound off a missed jump shot from the corner by La’Shay Taft. Tyson-Thomas gathered herself and went up to finish the layup 37 seconds into the half.Alexander followed on the next possession with an offensive rebound and putback off her own missed layup.‘We wanted to clean up more rebounding,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We figured they had more of an edge on the offensive glass, so we went after it more in the second half.’By the end of the game, Syracuse’s increased intensity on the glass showed.The Orange scored 15 second-chance points and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in the second half. SU also kept Long Beach State in check, holding it to six offensive rebounds and one second-chance point after halftime.Shakeya Leary grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds. Elashier Hall finished with 11, Alexander had nine rebounds and Tyson-Thomas had eight to lead the way for the Orange.Hall, who scored a game-high 20 points, was active on the offensive glass the whole game. Perhaps her most impressive play came with 14:39 remaining in the second half and Iasia Hemingway at the foul line.After making her first free throw, Hemingway missed her second off the rim. Hall swooped in from the left side of the paint and was fouled as she went up for a layup, getting knocked to the baseline under the basket.That prompted an excited fist pump from Hemingway, and she and her teammates rushed over to help Hall up. She went to the line and drilled both free throws to push Syracuse’s lead to 25.The Orange coasted to a blowout win in the second half and regained its aggressive mentality in rebounding that defined last year’s team.‘I think that’s something that we’ve always done,’ Hall said. ‘Since my freshman year, we’ve always led the country in rebounding (sic), so that was just our mindset not to fall back on things that we’ve been good at in the past.’rjgery@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img

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