first_img Published on January 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman Facebook Twitter Google+ When Syracuse opted to send Anaya Peoples to the free-throw line down three points with 34 seconds left, the Orange were betting on two misses and a 3 on the other end, seemingly impossible.SU had just endured a 1-for-17 stretch from 3, but Peoples — a 51% free-throw shooter — gave the Orange hope by missing both freebies. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman called timeout with 16.7 seconds left and another chance for some X’s and O’s magic.On Thursday, to beat No. 8 Florida State in overtime, Hillsman drew up a play he concocted three years prior on a cocktail napkin at an Outback Steakhouse. This time, his play call didn’t create a wide-open shot, but the result was the same.As the clock wound down in regulation, point guard Kiara Lewis shrugged off a ball screen, took her defender to the left wing and launched a step-back 3 over her. Bucket. A Strautmane rejection on the defensive end forced the game into overtime, and an 11-0 run to open OT gave SU its largest lead of the contest.In the end, it was a 29-8 Syracuse run over the last 12 minutes of the game that propelled SU to a 74-63 win over Notre Dame, its first in their last 22 meetings. The Orange (8-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) didn’t play their best basketball, but Notre Dame (6-9, 1-2) couldn’t match their late-game runs and defense in the Carrier Dome on Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBefore Lewis could send it to overtime, where the Orange completely dominated Notre Dame, Syracuse struggled to generate much offense. When Notre Dame played zone, it left both corners open for SU shooters, but Lewis, Gabrielle Cooper, Digna Strautmane and Emily Engstler couldn’t convert from there.In total, Syracuse went 1-for-12 on corner 3s — one of the most efficient shots in basketball — on mostly open looks. Overall, the Orange went 7-for-36 (19.4%) from 3.Still, Syracuse never trailed in the first half. Lewis and Engstler combined for 50 of SU’s 74 points, and no other player reached double digits. SU’s largest lead in the first half was eight, while Notre Dame hung around mostly fueled by a duo of its own — guard Destinee Walker and center Mikayla Vaughn.To start the game, Walker scored 12 of the Fighting Irish’s first 16 points. SU lost her on the perimeter off an under-the-basket inbound pass and again in transition for triples. Down low, Vaughn gave Syracuse’s bigs issues on both ends. The Notre Dame center who missed almost all of November and December with a knee injury recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.After leaving the locker room tied at halftime, the Fighting Irish won the third quarter 18-10. When Notre Dame toggled its defense from zone to man-to-man, Syracuse’s halfcourt offense went stagnant – caught too often with stationary players around the perimeter. Shortly after nearly five minute scoring drought in the second quarter, Syracuse had consecutive one-pass possessions that ended in contested 3-point misses. In the third quarter, the same followed, and SU went 0-for-8 from deep.With seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game and Syracuse in the middle of an ice-cold 1-for-17 stretch from deep, the Orange stared down a 10-point deficit. That’s when SU’s run commenced. Two Engstler buckets sandwiched a pair of Teisha Hyman free throws, then a Cooper 3 finally broke the team’s shooting slump.In overtime, after Lewis scored Syracuse’s last six points of regulation, the Orange ditched the 3-ball and went inside. Layups by Cooper, Engstler, Strautmane and Hyman opened overtime and stunned Notre Dame into a timeout.Syracuse’s win ended with a resounding 14-3 run, taking SU into a week off before its next matchup in Coral Gables, Florida against the Hurricanes on Jan. 12.Heading into the new year, late-game execution was one of SU’s weaknesses. They had lost three games to AP Top 25 teams after holding leads in the final minute. After their past two overtime victories, it appears the Orange have shaken that trend. Commentslast_img

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