WBB : Hemingway, Alexander double-doubles lead Orange to win at Marquette

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first_img Published on January 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Quentin Hillsman said his two low-post players won the wars. Possession after possession, Iasia Hemingway and Kayla Alexander cleaned up on the glass, dominating Marquette’s front court.It was a performance that, in Hillsman’s mind, could result in more wins if it carries over into future games.‘You’re getting more opportunities, and you’re taking away more opportunities (from them),’ the SU head coach Hillsman said in a phone interview after the game. ‘So as long as we can keep doing the things we did today on the boards, we will be in good shape.’Hemingway and Alexander’s dominance on the glass helped the Orange (14-4, 2-3 Big East) end a two-game losing streak with a 69-63 win on the road at Marquette Saturday. Both players logged double-doubles, as SU had a plus-12 rebounding advantage over the Golden Eagles (15-4, 3-3 Big East). It was the team’s first road victory of the season in three tries.The strong rebounding performance by Hemingway and Alexander had been lacking in SU’s previous losses to then-No. 6 West Virginia and then-No. 15 Georgetown. In those two games, Syracuse’s two best interior players combined for 22 total rebounds. Saturday, Hemingway and Alexander combined for 20 rebounds alone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThey dominated Marquette’s three starting forwards, who grabbed just eight boards collectively.‘Whenever they get close to the rim, they can battle some and win those wars,’ Hillsman said. ‘That was just so big for us to get battling on the boards.’Alexander and Hemingway’s play keyed a huge second-half turnaround for SU. Trailing by seven at halftime after only managing 22 points — SU’s second-lowest first-half total of the season — the Orange poured in 47 in the second half.After committing 19 first-half turnovers, Hillsman said the team relaxed and was able to create more chances on the offensive end of the floor. That led to better looks at the basket and a 21.5 percent jump in field-goal percentage. The Orange shot at a 54.8 percent clip in the second half.Aside from the steady rebounding, that was the biggest reason SU was able to come back and win the game, Hillsman said.‘We took care of the ball,’ he said. ‘We only had seven turnovers in the second half. That was a big number, just taking care of the ball. And we got great shots. That was the most important thing for us.’In addition to snapping a two-game losing skid, Saturday’s win against Marquette was also an important addition to SU’s NCAA Tournament resume. The Golden Eagles received 33 votes in the most recent Top 25 poll, good for a No. 29 national ranking.They also have wins over two ranked opponents in Georgetown and West Virginia — two teams that defeated Syracuse. Marquette is still the only team in the country to beat the No. 9 Mountaineers this season.‘This is a very big RPI game for us because they’ve beaten some good teams,’ Hillsman said. ‘We’re very pleased with the win, and a win on the road is big for us.’The aggressive rebounding by Alexander and Hemingway needs to continue if the Orange wants to move up in the Big East standings. The team sits in 10th place heading into a mini two-game homestand against Pittsburgh and South Florida.In particular, the rebounding must be there against the Panthers. Pitt is a team that has a size advantage over SU at every single position, Hillsman said, so it will likely come down to the Orange’s will to work harder.‘It’s going to be a very physical game in the paint,’ he said. ‘And we have to win the battle on the boards again. We have to take advantage of being at home in our conference games.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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