Syracuse’s five scorers ignite strong second half in 72-62 comeback win over Drexel

first_img Published on December 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham For the fifth time in 10 games this season, Syracuse trailed at halftime. Drexel shot an efficient 47.4 percent from the field and had outscored SU in the paint, 20-10. Senior guard Megan Marecic finished 5-of-6 from 3.Syracuse, meanwhile, didn’t have a double-digit scorer after 20 minutes and had hit only nine shots from the floor. If not for an 11-of-12 mark from the free-throw line, the Orange would’ve headed for the locker room trailing by much more than eight.“First half we were sluggish,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said.Five players did all the scoring for Syracuse, combining for 39 second-half points, and SU (10-0) came back and topped Drexel (6-4), 72-62, Saturday evening in the Carrier Dome. Digna Strautmane led the way with 19, while usual suspects Miranda Drummond and Tiana Mangakahia chipped in 17 and 16, respectively. Gabrielle Cooper and Isis Young added 10 each. Midway through the third quarter, Hillsman “shortened” the bench to keep the hot hands on the floor.“We had a really good second half,” Hillsman said. “… Got five players in double-digit scoring, shortened our rotation a little bit.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the first quarter, the 1,471 fans in the Dome stood and clapped in rhythm for 2:51 until Drummond hit a 3 for Syracuse’s first field goal of the game. The slow start served as a microcosm for the struggles SU endured offensively for the first 20 minutes of the contest.Just like the Orange, the Dragons employ a 2-3 zone scheme on defense. In the first half, though, DU’s on-ball defense was frenzied.Mangakahia couldn’t find edges to slip past a defender because another arm waited on either side of her to impede progress. Shooters, like Cooper and Young, were closed out with a hand in their face before they locked onto their target. Strautmane and fellow freshman big, Amaya Finklea-Guity, struggled to find enough space to receive an entry pass and when they did, challenges from Drexel bigs forced awkward, low-percentage shots.“We didn’t scramble … we missed some matchups,” Hillsman said.But in the second half, the offense opened up.“Shots were dropping,” Mangakahia said of the second half, “first half we couldn’t hit anything.”In the first 3:24 of the third quarter, SU blitzed DU for 10 points and opened up the second half with a 12-2 run. In that run, Cooper and Strautmane both hit 3s. Cooper hit from the corner, Strautmane from the wing. To counteract, Drexel stretched its defense further out, opening up space for Strautmane to operate down low.By the end of the third quarter, Strautmane had added nine points to her total. Drexel as a team managed just eight in the period. The Orange found something that worked.“We were making a really good run,” Hillsman said, “so we got everything settled and locked into that unit and they did an excellent job of closing the game out.”With Strautmane (nine points) and Drummond (five) starting to warm after stagnant first halves, Hillsman subbed less. Jasmine Nwajei and Raven Fox, who average more than 10 minutes a night each, didn’t play in the second half.The only substitution Hillsman made at all in the second half was Young for Finklea-Guity and vice versa. The other four starters — Mangakahia, Cooper, Drummond and Strautmane — never came off the floor. For the final 5:16, Hillsman didn’t sub at all.Paring the rotation down to six players kept the hot hands on the floor for longer. Cooper scored eight of her 10 points in the second half.Not even a minute into the fourth quarter, SU swung the ball around the outside. Young caught a pass and saw a hand in her face, so she made the extra pass to Cooper, who with just enough breathing room, elevated and canned a 3 right in front of Syracuse’s bench to put SU up 12.Cooper’s teammate, Desiree Elmore, had already risen from her seat and stuck three fingers in the air while the ball arced toward the hoop. When it ripped through the net, Elmore hopped on the court and swung her right fist across her body.It was SU’s largest lead of the night, and one that shrunk to as little as three, but never went away.“We just push through,” Drummond said, “even when we’re down. I guess we just have a totally different mindset in the second half.”After playing one of its worst halves of the season, SU needed to be a different team in the second half. Thanks to some timely shooting and a tighter rotation, it was. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Andre Ayew appreciates Cape Coast for Ghana support

first_imgBlack Stars captain, Andre Ayew, was in thankful mode on Friday as he expressed his love and appreciation for the people of Cape Coast after Ghana beat South Africa 2-0 in the AFCON 2021 Qualifiers.The Swansea City forward led Ghana in the match at the Cape Coast Stadium and he and his team mates played in front of a packed ground.The team got a very positive reception when they arrived in the Central Region on Tuesday and the love was sustained from then until the day of the match and that was not lost on Ayew.He took to Twitter to thank the fans and show gratitude for their backing. Ayew and his team mates will now head to Sao Tome and Principe for the second and final qualifier for 2019.last_img read more

Man Utd 2 – 1 Man City

first_imgWayne Rooney’s spectacular late winner put Manchester United’s Premier League title assault back on course and left Manchester City devastated at Old Trafford.David Silva’s deflected equaliser put Roberto Mancini’s side in sight of a point after Nani’s first-half goal gave United a slender advantage in a tight and tense encounter.It was Rooney, however, who produced a moment of inspiration to score a stunning overhead kick that will live forever in the memory of United’s fans and extended City’s dismal sequence of only one league win in their last 27 visits to Old Trafford.Silva’s fortunate leveller, unwittingly deflecting in substitute Edin Dzeko’s shot via his back, had given City momentum but they were stopped in their tracks in the most dramatic fashion with only 12 minutes left.Nani’s cross from the right flank was high and behind Rooney as he lurked near the penalty spot, but he elevated an indifferent personal display to the heights by readjusting his position and sending an acrobatic, unstoppable overhead kick high past startled City keeper Joe Hart.The quality of the goal was worthy of winning any game and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson may even look back on it as a strike that won the title after they bounced back from their first Premier League defeat of the season at Wolves last Saturday. Rooney, superbly shackled by City defender Vincent Kompany for so long as Ferguson surprisingly left Dimitar Berbatov on the bench, had previously cut a forlorn and frustrated figure but his natural instincts continue to serve him and United so well.And if his love affair with Old Trafford was strained by the saga of his demand to leave earlier this season, the bond was rekindled as United claimed a vital victory.It enabled them to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points at the final whistle – and also inflicted a serious blow to City’s own lingering hopes of mounting a challenge as they now stand eight points behind United having played a game more.City were left to regret failing to make the most of some early supremacy when Silva squandered the perfect opportunity to strike a crucial blow early on in the second minute.United boss Ferguson entrusted Rooney with a lone attacking role – and in the opening stages it was City who made all the running and should have taken the lead in the opening moments. Silva, a significant influence as City dominated, exchanged passes with Carlos Tevez inside the area and was left with only Edwin van der Sar to beat. The angle was acute but the gifted Spaniard was wasteful as he rolled a tame finish across the face of goal and inches wide.The hulking figure of Yaya Toure also cast a giant shadow over United’s midfield as they struggled to assert any authority and he was frustrated when referee Andre Marriner ignored his penalty appeals when his cross struck Chris Smalling.As United finally started to pose a threat, Darren Fletcher headed straight at City keeper Hart from Ryan Giggs’ cross – and the seemingly ageless Old Trafford veteran was instrumental when they took the lead four minutes before the interval.Rooney challenged for Van der Sar’s clearance and Giggs pounced to deliver an inviting pass for Nani, who escape the attentions of Pablo Zabaleta to slide a composed finish past Hart.City boss Mancini, who watched his team fail to capitalise on so much early possession, made a change early in the second half when he replaced Aleksandar Kolarov with Shaun Wright-Phillips. And in an attempt to actually call Van der Sar into serious action, something City had failed to do, he then introduced Dzeko for James Milner.The impact was exactly what City required as both substitutes were involved when they drew level after 65 minutes. Wright-Phillips’ cross fell to Dzeko and his effort took a vital touch of Silva’s back to wrong-foot Van der Sar.Ferguson immediately introduced Berbatov for Anderson, but it was that moment of brilliance from Rooney that put them back in front and visibly deflated City.City were stunned at being struck by such a blow and their threat fizzled out as Old Trafford buzzed with excitement at what had unfolded. United survived in comfort to close out a crucial victory.Source: BBClast_img read more

Pearl’s assassin owns up

first_imgWASHINGTON – Suspected 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to beheading American journalist Daniel Pearl and playing a central role in 30 other attacks and plots in the U.S. and worldwide that killed thousands of victims, said a revised transcript the U.S. military released Thursday. “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,” Mohammed is quoted as saying in a transcript of a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, released by the Pentagon. “For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head,” he added. Mohammed’s claimed involvement in the 2002 slaying of the Wall Street Journal reporter was among 31 attacks and plots – some of which were never carried out – he took responsibility for in a hearing Saturday at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon said. That is the view that Mohammed has sketched in the lengthy and boastful exposition that he gave to his captors last week, one that fills out a chilling portrait of a military commander driven more by a zest for battle than by the religious fervor that consumes other al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. Mohammed also launched attacks independent of the al-Qaida network’s hierarchy, such as the beheading of Pearl. That killing was among the litany of crimes, attacks and plots – some achieved and others never attempted – to which Mohammed has confessed in the secret proceeding at Guantanamo Bay. It is his zeal for combat that made Mohammed, a Pakistani raised in Kuwait who holds an engineering degree from an American university, indispensable to al-Qaida’s relentless campaign over more than a decade to strike at the people and places most significant to the United States. Ruthless tactician Mohammed has long been regarded by American officials as the ruthless tactician responsible for some of al-Qaida’s most important operations, a mastermind with a $25 million U.S.-backed bounty on his head who was first to raise with bin Laden the idea of hijacking commercial airplanes and flying them into buildings in this country. Mohammed’s testimony burnishes much of that portrait. American intelligence officials and terrorism experts interviewed Thursday said Mohammed might have embellished his role in some of the 31 plots he detailed in the tribunal. His statement for the most part matches existing intelligence about those operations, but in some of the instances, officials said, he would have played only a small role in the planning and execution of the attacks. During the tribunal, Mohammed essentially repeated accounts that he has provided to captors over the past four years, though he also said that the initial confessions he made between 2003 and 2006 when he was in the custody of the CIA came as the result of torture. The Bush administration has long denied that any harsh interrogation techniques it used on high-value detainees could be considered torture. However, some of the techniques used on Mohammed, including “waterboarding,” in which a detainee is strapped down and made to believe he is drowning, have since been abandoned by the CIA. Some American officials believe that Mohammed, who has long shown a media savvy and ability to seize on a moment to advance his message, may have seen the tribunal at Guantanamo Bay as one of his last opportunities to address his troops around the world. “There is a sense that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was aware that he had a platform,” said one American intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding Mohammed’s captivity. “This was an opportunity for him to send a message not so much to the United States, but to others who might take up his cause.” Rambling testimony Fluent in three languages, Mohammed was able to perfect his English while he was a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the 1980s. Yet the transcript suggests that during the tribunal, his English often broke down and he had difficulty making his points, a possible result of long periods in virtual isolation over the past four years. His often-rambling testimony revealed a man consumed with polishing his image and legacy. He corrected his captors on the spelling of his name, and complained that an Al-Jazeera news channel reporter misquoted him during a 2002 interview. “You know the media,” he said. An ethnic Baluchi born in Kuwait in 1965, Mohammed is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. After attending secondary school in Kuwait, Mohammed applied to and was accepted by tiny Chowan College, a Baptist school in rural Murfreesboro, N.C. He later transferred to North Carolina A&T, a historically black college in Greensboro. Leaving the United States after graduation, he traveled to Central Asia, where he became enmeshed in the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. The experience shaped the next part of his life as a fighter devoted to the jihad movement – a movement that he suggested during last week’s tribunal was motivated by a desire for “independence” from the West. It was in support of this movement, Mohammed said, that he played a role in dozens of terror plots against Western targets, beginning in 1993 with the first World Trade Center bombings and followed by a long list of others that he ticked off in cold, matter-of-fact fashion during his appearance before the tribunal. According to the report of the Sept. 11 Commission, released in 2004, Mohammed’s only hand in the 1993 World Trade Center attack involved conversations with Yousef and financial contributions to the conspirators. But after moving to Manila, Philippines, in 1994, Mohammed took a more direct role in hatching a number of ambitious terror plots, including the Bojinka plot, which would have involved a dozen commercial aircraft in mid-flight, along with plots to assassinate President Clinton and Pope John Paul II during their trips to Manila.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It released the bulk of the transcript late Wednesday, but held back the section about Pearl’s killing to allow time for his family to be notified, said Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman. Pearl’s parents said it was impossible to know whether Mohammed’s claim about killing their son “has any bearing in truth.” “We prefer to focus our energy on continuing Danny’s lifework through the programs of the Daniel Pearl Foundation which aim to eradicate the hatred that took his life,” Judea and Ruth Pearl said in a statement. Pearl, who as a young man lived in Encino and graduated from Birmingham High School in the San Fernando Valley in 1981, was abducted in January 2002 in Pakistan while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Mohammed has long been a suspect in the slaying, which was captured on video. Sealing a legacy of historical notoriety, the man who was al-Qaida’s top operational planner until his capture four years ago says he played the role of a guerrilla fighter, a “jackal” in perpetual conflict with the world’s most powerful nation. last_img read more