WBB : Seal the deal: With win over bottom-feeder Seton Hall, SU could ensure NCAA Tournament berth

first_img Comments Ten days of waiting.That’s what the Syracuse women’s basketball team would be saddled with if it loses to Seton Hall on Friday. Ten days full of anxiety, question marks and overall powerlessness as the days inch closer to Selection Monday and the Orange’s NCAA tournament fate.But Kayla Alexander said she won’t let that idea cross her mind.‘Devastating,’ she said of that potential waiting period. ‘That’d be the worst feeling ever. I’m not even going to think about that.’SU (21-8, 9-7 Big East) will hope to avoid that outcome Friday at 2 p.m. when it takes on the 16th-seeded Pirates (8-21, 1-15) in the first round of the Big East tournament in Hartford, Conn. It represents a crucial game for the No. 9-seeded Orange, as a bad defeat could ultimately relegate Syracuse to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament for the third straight season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA win gives SU a chance to knock off eighth-seeded Georgetown (21-9, 9-7) on Saturday at noon and potentially set up a rematch with top-seeded Connecticut at 2 p.m. Sunday.Much of SU’s success this weekend falls heavily on the sophomore Alexander’s shoulders. On Thursday, she was named to the All-Big East first team. And since a home loss to DePaul on Feb. 8, in which the center scored just four points, head coach Quentin Hillsman has made post play the focal point of the Orange offense. And Hillsman said Alexander and junior forward Iasia Hemingway will continue to carry Syracuse in the conference tournament.‘Absolutely it’s going to be the same thing straight through this thing,’ Hillsman said. ‘They’re our two highest percentage shooting starters, so we’re going to continue to put the ball in their hands and let them make plays.’Alexander had a streaky regular season, dominating opponents one game and becoming a forgotten factor in the next. She leads Syracuse in scoring with 14.4 points per contest but failed to hit a field goal in just nine minutes of action when the Orange beat Seton Hall 75-50 on Jan. 8.But in SU’s recent five-game winning streak, which ended Monday in a loss to UConn, Alexander and her frontcourt partner Hemingway powered the team’s offense. Alexander tallied 19.2 points per game in that pivotal stretch, while the junior forward Hemingway averaged 12.2 points.‘They’re rolling,’ senior guard Erica Morrow said. ‘They’re carrying the team. They’re opening up a lot of things for us on the perimeter. … Definitely we’re emphasizing getting the ball in the paint and just letting Kayla just go to work and do the things she needs to do to score the basketball.’The duo started rolling when SU desperately needed wins to improve its NCAA tournament resume. After the loss to DePaul, the Orange had just 16 wins and was 4-6 in the Big East.But Syracuse turned to its frontcourt for wins over conference bottom-feeders Villanova, Providence and Cincinnati and added back-to-back wins over Louisville and St. John’s, now the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds this weekend, respectively.The strategy for the Orange has been relatively simple. Hemingway gets the ball near the free-throw line, where she has the option to drive, kick the ball back out to a guard or dump it down to Alexander in the post. If she chooses the latter, Alexander has one job: get the ball up to the rim.The sophomore center has just one assist through 29 games this year, so she has adhered to her coach’s instructions. Hillsman said it would be a big concern for an opposing coach knowing Alexander will shoot every time she gets the ball inside.‘If I’m coaching against a post player,’ he said, ‘and she’s a 6-foot-4 kid, she shoots in the high 50 percents, you know she’s going to shoot it every time and then you know the team’s going to go rebound it, I think it’s a scary thing. We tell her to get it up on the rim because we feel good about it.’Syracuse is 4-5 when Alexander fails to reach double-digit points. The sophomore still feels her team has something to prove in the Big East tournament. A loss to Seton Hall would be devastating. But a win or two could seal SU’s berth in the field of 64.‘We’ve just got to go out there, play hard, prove that we believe we’re good enough and strong enough to play in the NCAA tournament,’ Alexander said. ‘And to go out there and get some wins and prove to ourselves that we’re able to play at the next level.’zjbrown@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 3, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Duncan tastes first Hearts defeat

first_imgHearts new coach David Duncan suffered his first defeat and it was against his former club Ashgold in a dramatic game that saw both teams lose a player each before regulation time.A 28th minute strike by Aaron Amoah proved priceless for the visitors who came into this game with three successive defeats.Amoah breached the Hearts defence and capped it with a clever strike to beat Tetteh Lugard in post for the Phobians.The Miners held on, defended as if their lives depended on it, albeit with some delay tactics for most part.David Telfer was given a second yellow and an early shower in the 40th minute but the phobians could not maximize their numerical advantage.Fatau Dauda parried a goal bound header in the 44th minute and kept the Miners hopes alive. Francis Coffie should have increased the tally minutes after recess but the slippery left footed attacker, contrived to miss what will arguably be in contention for the miss of the season.Lugard had been beaten with a low cross from the right and whilst he was down just at the edge of his goal line trying to parry the ball away from danger, Coffie came in and had a full blast over the bar.Duncan brought in Edward Affum for veteran Laryea Kingston who struggled a bit in the first half but the story was no different.The tale of near misses continued as the Phobians struggled in vain to get the equalizer.Lawrence Lartey ensured the Miners snatched all the spoils when he headed a goal bound bicycle kick from Mahatma Otoo right on the goal line. With a quarter of an hour left to go, Nuru Sulley was given the red card after he brought down Yakubu Mohammed. Nuru was the last man and he saved the Phobians from conceding another goal.One goal it ended in favour of the Miners.last_img read more

Eli Manning sees coaching in his post-retirement life — just not in the NFL

first_img“I always really enjoy working with freshmen in high school and getting them to learn how to play quarterback at a higher level,” he said. “You see the difference when they come in that first day and leave four days later, and the growth that they’ve made in that time.”For now, though, Manning says he will take the year off and enjoy retirement. At some point, he expects to be involved in some capacity with the Giants, the organization for which he played his entire 16-year pro career.”Football is my love and passion,” Manning said. “It is all I’ve known for the last 25 years and all I’ve been doing. I don’t think I can stray too far away from that.” Now, he’s tucked away in Mississippi with his family, far away from the football fields and bright lights of New York, trying to figure out what’s next.Last week, the former Giants quarterback gave some insight when he joined 115 military members from across the globe and their families for an online Q&A. “I know one thing: I don’t want to be an NFL coach,” Manning said during a USO Zoom call (per ESPN). “I’ve seen what our coaches do and the hours they put in, and I enjoy being with my family and enjoy coaching some of their sports teams.”MORE: Sammy Watkins says he drank ‘every night’ while with BillsManning said he hasn’t even thrown a football since his retirement began. Instead, he’s spent his time with his four kids while he considers the possibilities for the next chapter in his life.”I really wanted to try to take a year off and just try to gather my bearings and get settled with my family and figure out what I want to do in that next chapter,” Manning said.Broadcasting could be an option. After all, his brother Peyton just turned down a lucrative offer to be in the “Monday Night Football” booth. It might be easier to start with figuring out what he doesn’t want to do, and he appears to have one thing at the top of that list.Manning ruled out coaching at the NFL level, but he also seemed intrigued by the possibility of coaching high schoolers. He has helped run the famous Manning Passing Academy with his family and gotten experience coaching that age range.  Eli Manning has been doing what many people have been doing these days: homeschooling his kids. He’s more than 12 years removed from leading the Giants over Tom Brady and the Patriots to win the Super Bowl in 2008, eight years removed from doing it again in 2012 and just a few months removed from taking the last snap of his NFL career. last_img read more

West Kootenay Basketball refs BLOW the WHISTLE on CANCER

first_imgCancer can be beaten.And West Kootenay Basketball Officials are doing their part to help fight the deadly disease by participating in the fourth annual BLOW the WHISTLE on CANCER — Pink Whistle campaign.The provincial campaign, which has the support of most hoop referees in the B.C. Basketball Officials Association, runs through the month of February and strives to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society B.C. and Yukon Division.Hoop refs will be officiating games from high school to university using pink whistles. “As more and more men, women and children are battling this disease each year, we can take pride in knowing that our donations are helping fund researchers at the BC Cancer Agency at UBC, fight for public policies to make healthy living possible and providing support in the services the Canadian Cancer Society offers through their programs such as Cancer Information Service, Cancer Connection, Camps, Accommodation and Financial Support,” said Shelley Ganchar Director of Administration for the BCBOA.”Together we can help our fellow British Columbians living with cancer and relieve the effects on those individuals and their families.The Pink Whistle campaign runs throughout the month of February.Anyone wanting to donate to the cause may do so through the Canadian Cancer Society by clicking on this link:http://cancerevents.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=420153&team=5383215West Kootenay Association officials ref games from Kaslo to Grand Forks.”Please join us as we strive to “BLOW the WHISTLE on CANCER ” this February,” Ganchar said.last_img read more