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No. 18 Syracuse men’s basketball pulls away for 71-50 win over Monmouth

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Jim Boeheim stood on the sideline for most of the first half. Sometimes he had his hands on his hips. Sometimes he had his arms crossed. Sometimes he gestured with his hands toward the referees, his players or no one in particular.Monmouth’s hit its first 3 right in front of Boeheim, who stood still on the sideline. Late in the first half, he pointed to his temples with both index fingers after Tyus Battle committed a foul. Syracuse’s defense was shoddy and Boeheim let his team know.But in a 4-minute, 36-second stretch, Syracuse expanded its lead from 10 to 19 midway through the second half because of its defense. In that span, No. 18 SU (3-0) racked up seven rebounds and two blocks. Monmouth (1-2) shot 1-for-8 from the field. The Orange cruised to the eventual 71-50 victory, but didn’t come without a scare and it took the nine-point run to crack the its toughest test of the season open.“We pushed them into tough spots and made them take tough shots,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I thought to start the second half, we were really efficient. We got on the boards, really did a good job on the boards.”The Hawks nearly made the NCAA Tournament last season, and Boeheim said earlier in the week the team is even better this year. At halftime, Syracuse led by eight. Despite the Orange having a significant height advantage, Monmouth outpaced SU in the paint by 14 points in the first half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange had to sharpen its rotations. Monmouth started a four-guard lineup and stuck with the alignment for most of the game. That forced Syracuse’s zone to extend out further, opening up seams inside early on.In the second half, Monmouth shot just 1-of-18 from 3. Its perimeter shooters weren’t converting and Syracuse took advantage.“We did a good job of knowing what they were going to do,” Tyler Roberson said of defending the four-guard lineup, “and we were just disciplined and did a really good job defensively.”After the Hawks cut the deficit to 10, Howard snagged a defensive rebound and pushed the ball up the court for a layup. Two minutes later, Howard knocked down a 3 off an Andrew White steal. On the next possession, he drove righty, drew a foul and made a free throw. Off a Tyler Lydon block, Howard assisted a Tyus Battle 3.Syracuse’s offense clicked and it was because of its defense.“It was just a matter of defense,” Lydon said. “Getting stops on the defensive end and getting outlets to our offense.”Monmouth point guard Justin Robinson was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s preseason player of the year. He ranked third in the conference in scoring last season. He was the player that Syracuse had to stop. Robinson finished with a team-high 11 points but during the stretch that turned the game, SU held Robinson scoreless and he couldn’t set up his teammates either.“The second half, our defense was really good,” Boeheim said. “They got some looks that they missed but our defense was pretty good. We pushed them into tough spots and made them take tough shots.” Comments Published on November 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedslast_img read more

Badgers head west to try to add to strong start

first_imgAfter starting the year off with four straight wins at the McClimon Soccer Complex, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team is hitting the road for the first time, as the Badgers head out west to a tournament in Seattle.Wisconsin will go up against Washington (4-0) in its first Husky/Nike Invitational game Friday night, and finish the tournament Sunday afternoon taking on the Portland Pilots (1-2).  Dartmouth College will also be participating in the four-team tournament, but will not face the Badgers.The last time Wisconsin made an appearance in the Husky Invitational was 2010, when midfielder Kodee Williams was a rookie. Williams is one of the only players still on the roster from that season.“I went to this [tournament] my freshman year. It was really exciting,” Williams said.  “It’s definitely nice to get some out of conference play.”Williams has been off to a tremendous start this season, with two assists already under her belt, along with an overtime goal against Tennessee a couple weekends back, proving herself to be a clutch player.  But the fifth-year senior said that she, along with the rest of the roster, is going to be exposed to a very new kind of soccer this weekend.“The style of soccer is different out there,” Williams said.  “They’re a lot more tactical and use smaller players, whereas the Big Ten is known for being a pretty physical conference.”Head coach Paula Wilkins added that a tactical team is typically more aggressive on the ball and boasts a strong offense.“They can hold the ball individually and keep possession well, so we have to be really good at team defending,” Wilkins said.  “They’re a little more attack oriented, whereas I think sometimes the Midwest is a little more defensive oriented.”The attacking style of play has worked well for Washington so far this season, as they have defeated top contenders such as Kentucky and Pittsburgh. One specific offensive threat is senior forward Jaclyn Softli who has been the key player in each of those wins, scoring four of the team’s eight total goals so far this season.Wilkins said when an opponent has standout players like Softli, it’s important to keep an eye out for them, but to not lose sight of others on the field.“Obviously when someone scores a bunch of goals, we’re going to have to spend a little more time focusing on them,” Wilkins said.  “But [Washington] has a good group of attacking players, so if you focus in on just one, somebody else will exploit you.”And if the Badgers have proved anything this season, it’s that they don’t underestimate any one player or team.  In just the first four games, the Wisconsin bench already looks like a completely different group from last year, when they finished with a 10-7-2 record.Badgers continue to dominate with pair of weekend victories Coming into the weekend with an undefeated record, the No. 19 Wisconsin women’s soccer team kept the good times rolling Read…The key in these early victories, according to both Wilkins and Williams, has been a focus both on and off the field that allows them to adapt to each team they play.  Wilkins pointed out that against Tennessee back in late August, her squad took a defensive approach to counter Tennessee’s strong offense, but last weekend, against two weaker opponents, the Badgers stepped up and attacked the ball more, leading to 5-0 and 3-0 victories.What’s more, this taste of success has not resulted in Wisconsin lowering its defenses; the focus is still there, each practice and game, and has only left the roster hungry for more.“We’re not content with our start,” Williams said.  “We know that we have bigger teams to play and bigger battles to win.”And the Husky/Nike Invitational is definitely a good time for the Badgers to have that mentality.  Both teams they’ll face, especially Washington Friday night, will pose a challenge that the team hasn’t yet seen.“Obviously we don’t expect to win every game 5-0 and 3-0 like we did this weekend,” Williams said.  “Portland and Washington will definitely be some of the teams that will be able to put our backs up against the wall, and hopefully we can step up to that challenge.”last_img read more