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

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Cosmo Cramer

first_imgFacebook371Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Cosmo Cramer! He is a 2-year-old, 68-pound Airedale Terrier mix who is seeking a forever family. He loves people, car rides, cuddles, does well on a leash, and knows the commands for “sit” and “off”. Cosmo is very smart and will need help to continue to learn good dog manners and he aims to please! Volunteers here at the shelter seem to think that his fuzzy face is his best feature! Although he came in to our facility as a stray, he quickly earned his name by showing us his goofy ways!   He will make you smile!If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment to meet Cosmo Cramer in person, please contact the adoption team at Shelton Adopt-a-Pet. Emails are the preferred method of communication.Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email thedoghouse3091@hotmail.com or call 360-432-3091.last_img read more