WBB : Orange dominated on boards, inside in loss to Fighting Irish

first_imgSyracuse’s shooting struggles have been present throughout the year, so when the Orange finished just 29.5 percent from the field against No. 2 Notre Dame, it wasn’t too much of a diversion from the norm.SU’s futility on the boards, though, is another story. The Fighting Irish took control of the glass, leaving the Orange without one of its biggest strengths of the season.‘I’m obviously not very happy with the first half,’ head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘And getting outrebounded, it’s just not our character getting outrebounded. I thought on the offensive glass, they just did a really good job of pushing us underneath the basket and taking advantage of second and third opportunities.’Notre Dame (24-1, 11-0 Big East) crashed the glass hard throughout its 74-55 win over the Orange (15-10, 4-7 Big East) on Tuesday in the Carrier Dome, grabbing 47 rebounds while SU pulled down 37. On a night in which the Orange struggled in just about every aspect of the game at one point or another, it was the rebounding deficiency that perplexed SU most of all. If anything, it’s the one part of the Orange’s game that has remained strong for the duration of a rocky season.Syracuse entered the game tied for second in the nation in rebounding with 47.7 boards per game, the same amount No. 1 Baylor is averaging, which is the only team to have beaten Notre Dame this season. In the Big East, SU is first in rebounds and offensive rebounds with 21.2 per game and is third in rebounding margin at 10.8.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSo rebounding the basketball was going to be paramount for Syracuse to take down one of the best teams in the nation. But Notre Dame established itself on the glass early in the game and practically stripped SU of its identity as a premier rebounding team.‘When we stop getting the ball high-low, we don’t get the ball to Iasia and they’re not scoring, and we’re not making shots on the outside. We’re not playing like Syracuse,’ guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. ‘And then when we get outrebounded. It’s never a good result.’The Orange’s biggest roadblock to the glass stood in the form of Fighting Irish center Devereaux Peters, who finished the game with an astonishing 16 rebounds to go along with her equally impressive 21 points.Though she had a two-inch height disadvantage against 6-foot-4 SU center Kayla Alexander, Peters’ dominance on the boards gave ND plenty of second-chance opportunities. Overall, the Irish scored 21 second-chance points, though that’s only two more than the 19 put-back points Syracuse scored.A couple more rebounds in SU’s favor and the Orange could have put itself in better position to actually complete an improbable second-half comeback. Peters, though, had other ideas and was relentless on the glass.‘She’s a great player. Her numbers speak for themselves,’ Hemingway said. ‘Honestly, we can’t say much about her. She had a great game. She’s strong, she’s physical, real athletic. We just had to make sure we kept a body on her, and clearly, that wasn’t enough.’Notre Dame was just the fourth team this season to outrebound Syracuse, joining Connecticut, Oklahoma and West Virginia — all four have defeated the Orange.All told, for a team that has failed to consistently find its shooting stroke, rebounding the basketball has helped keep Syracuse afloat. The Orange’s offensive woes continued against the Irish, and combined with its lack of effectiveness on the glass, the end result wasn’t pretty.But SU’s shooting struggles are nothing new. Getting routinely beaten on the glass draws some extra concern.‘Coach came out and said they’re ‘outrebounding us, that’s not normal,” Hemingway said. ‘If we do what we have to do, like rebounding, getting put-backs and offensive rebounds, and making sure we get the ball into Kayla, that’s when we feel confident and we feel like we can make things happen.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img Commentslast_img read more