Syracuse forces 32 turnovers in blowout win over No. 12 Duke

first_img Published on January 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Crystal Primm was trapped along the sideline just beyond half court. She tried pivoting to create space and move the ball. But surrounded by Syracuse defenders, there was nowhere to go.Primm was called for a five-second, closely-guarded violation and Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman pumped his fist as he took steps onto the court.Duke’s next two possessions ended on turnovers by freshman Kyra Lambert. While waiting for the inbounds pass after the second, SU point guard Alexis Peterson slammed her foot into the ground and screamed, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”Syracuse began the game on a 17-3 run — the Blue Devils committed seven turnovers in that span — and played with the urgency it discussed at a team meeting earlier on Sunday morning.“We knew that if we could get into our pressure, we could cause some problems,” Hillsman said. “And we did.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange (11-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) obliterated the No. 12 Blue Devils (11-4, 0-1) by forcing 32 turnovers and scoring 27 points off them en route to an 86-50 win in the Carrier Dome. With the win, Hillsman picked up his 200th as SU’s head coach and Syracuse beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four tries this season.“We were all locked in,” Peterson said. “Once we got locked in from the beginning, we stayed there and we never let up.”With less than three minutes left in the second quarter, Duke pulled within nine, the closest it would be the rest of the game.But then Maggie Morrison recorded a steal, hit a 3 and got another steal. A minute later, Morrison stepped in front of the Blue Devils’ Azurá Stevens, who travelled near half court while being smothered by defenders.“You can really exploit (the press) if you move the ball and find your teammates,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “If you hang onto the ball and dribble two or three times, suddenly two people are upon you.”Another turnover and another made 3 off it gave Syracuse a 16-point lead, ending the half on a 9-2 run.The Orange jogged off the court to a standing ovation having already forced 17 turnovers, just two fewer than Duke’s season average.Following the win, Hillsman recognized his team was running out of chances to beat a ranked opponent after losing to then-No. 4 Tennessee, then-No. 5 Maryland and then-No. 24 Arizona State.Two days ago, the head coach said his goal is to get to 20 wins to make the NCAA tournament, but added that his team could use a couple resumé boosters. By beating Duke, the Orange got the one it was looking for.With six minutes left in the third quarter, Duke’s Oderah Chidom drove toward the basket but Brianna Butler stepped in front of her and drew a charge. About 30 seconds later, Cornelia Fondren caused Stevens to turn the ball over, forcing the Blue Devils to call timeout down by 20.As Syracuse’s bench flooded onto the court, Briana Day yelled, “That’s how you fricken play, y’all!”And that’s how the Orange has been playing all season. SU nearly always presses and McCallie said she knew it was coming.Syracuse had averaged about 19 steals per game in its last four games, but all of those were against much weaker nonconference teams. With the 36-point win on Sunday, the Orange handed Duke its biggest conference loss since 1993.“You can’t ask for a better win, in a better fashion, than that,” Peterson said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more