Syracuse forces program record 43 turnovers in season-opening win over Rhode Island

first_img Published on November 11, 2016 at 8:15 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ A year ago, Charise Wilson hit four 3-pointers, grabbed eight rebounds and posted 26 points in a near-upset of Syracuse on opening night. The Rhode Island guard’s output on Friday night: she shot 1-of-12 from the field and 0-of-4 from deep, committed 10 turnovers and scored only five points.A teary-eyed Wilson, who had been named to the preseason All-Atlantic 10 first team, subtly shook her head as her eyes got teary during the post-game press conference. Syracuse had made a statement in its season opener.Syracuse took the floor for the first time since the 2016 national championship game. The Orange recorded the highest turnover margin in the NCAA last season, and on Friday No. 14 Syracuse (1-0) forced a program-record 43 turnovers in its 95-49 victory over Rhode Island (0-1) in the Carrier Dome. A stifling full-court pressure mixed with half-court traps and double teams prompted at least five turnovers from four different Rams players, including Wilson, who committed a game-high 10 hiccups.“I don’t know how teams want to play a team that presses for 40 minutes,” Syracuse fifth-year guard Brittney Sykes said. “It’s like you’re constantly paranoid a trap is coming. And that’s to our advantage.”Friday’s matchup was the first time in SU’s last 17 games that it held an opponent to under 50 points. The contest against Rhode Island also marked Syracuse’s 10th consecutive season-opening victory. Thirty-eight of Syracuse’s 95-points came off turnovers. A half-court 1-2-2 defense swapped with an all-out, full-court pressure.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Alexis Peterson drained a 3 and smiled at the bench, she rushed to pick up her opponent. Other times, when SU’s 2-3 zone appeared to sag, Peterson, Sykes, Gabby Cooper or Abbey Miller jumped out to double-team.As Syracuse got off to a 15-point first quarter lead, it stayed in a softer full-court pressure. Rhode Island beat SU’s first initial softer full-court pressure via side-to-side passes, but the soft pressure slowed down URI’s offense. By the time guards passed halfcourt, the shot clock had trimmed eight, nine or 10 seconds, forcing the Rams to rush shots and force passes late as the clock dwindled.Briana Day denied the ball in the paint, despite her early foul trouble. Julia Chandler played 20 minutes with Bria Day out. The sophomore missed several assignments having only practiced once this week.Midway through the second quarter, Rhode Island had cut the lead to seven, but 25 of Syracuse’s forced turnovers came in the second half. Brittney Sykes tipped an inbound pass on the press. Cheyalne Bailey pickpocketed a Rams player before feeding Davida Dale under the basket for two points.Turnovers came from full-court pressure, sunken half court defensive double teams and traps and even deep in the 2-3 zone. SU followed up forced turnovers with trips to the foul line, then shot 20-for-27 from the stripe, a 74 percent mark.Late in the game, Sykes snatched the ball from Dominique Ward then threw it to Isabella Slim for a basket. A couple of plays later, Sykes lost half of a step on her opponent in a fullcourt man-to-man setting but beat her to the spot, then stripped the ball lose. On Syracuse’s 36th forced turnover, the ball swung to a wide open Jade Phillips under the basket for an easy score.“I tried several different press breaks, I just felt we weren’t on the same page at the same time,” Rhode Island head coach Daynia La-Force said. “We got kids running away from basketballs, bad passes, throwing it right to their hands.“You deduct that from the score and we have a ball game.” Commentslast_img read more