WBB : Turnovers stunt Syracuse’s ability to win games in Big East play

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Ten seconds into the season, Syracuse recorded its first statistic: a turnover.La’Shay Taft only managed a few dribbles to get across half court before she lost the ball off her leg out of bounds. The Orange players simply made their way down the court to play defense, unfazed by Taft’s mistake, likely caused by adrenaline that came with the season opener against Long Beach State.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman chalked up Taft’s seven turnovers in 22 minutes to jitters as she made her debut as the team’s starting point guard.‘I think it’s first-time nerves because most of her turnovers were ones where she was in between shooting and passing,’ Hillsman said after his team defeated the 49ers despite turning the ball over 28 times. ‘So either she would have passed it, just has to make an earlier decision. I just think of it more that she was a little nervous.’While Taft and her Syracuse teammates may have been anxious to get back on the court back in November, the stat sheet has piled up with turnovers at an astronomical rate. SU has turned the ball over 20 or more times in six games this season. The careless mistakes have made it a constant struggle to find any rhythm on offense, derailing the Orange in its seven losses.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU (12-7, 1-4 Big East) will look to take better care of the ball against conference bottom feeder Seton Hall (7-12, 0-5) on Sunday at 2 p.m. in South Orange, N.J.The latest performance crippled by turnovers came against then-No. 18 Georgetown last Sunday when the Orange coughed it up 30 times, leading to 38 points for the Hoyas and another conference loss.Before that, SU had 20 turnovers and fell to St. John’s at home. Of the 20, the Orange committed 14 in the first half, allowing the Red Storm to build a comfortable 12-point lead midway through the first half, a deficit Syracuse couldn’t overcome.SU showed signs of life after Shanee Williams hit a pull-up jumper to cut the lead to six late in the first half. But the rally lost steam after the Orange turned the ball over on each of its next three possessions.Williams got caught up in the air and threw an errant pass away following her jumper. Elashier Hall lost the ball off her leg on a drive into the lane and couldn’t recover it after diving to the floor. And a turnover by Taft beyond the arc led to an uncontested fast-break opportunity for St. John’s that put the lead back to 12 in a little more than a minute.‘When you watch the tape and you see the first half, we’re obviously going to get angry with ourselves because that was an awful first half,’ center Kayla Alexander said. ‘But at the same time, you take it and you say, ‘OK, we need to make sure we do this in the first and the second half, not just the second half all the time.”In the second half, SU came out confident in its offense, feeding Alexander in the post and making decisive moves to the basket. In the final 20 minutes, the Orange had just six turnovers and outscored the Red Storm 40-39.The Orange was able to cut the deficit to four behind a 10-0 run that saw Syracuse make the most of every possession. During the run, SU didn’t turn the ball over once.‘I thought they made adjustments and made their entry passes from different places, which didn’t allow us to double as much,’ SJU head coach Kim Barnes Arico said.But the first-half deficit proved too great, leaving Syracuse wondering what could have been had it played with a purpose before halftime.The 349 turnovers committed in 19 games thus far have elicited a range of emotions from Hillsman on the sidelines and forced him to repeat over and over how costly turnovers are following the losses.For Hillsman, turning those losses into wins simply comes down to protecting the ball every time his team moves down the floor. The head coach knows fixing that problem is the key to the Orange’s success moving forward.Said Hillsman: ‘I think just taking care of the ball and making sure we get a shot every possession down the floor.’[email protected]center_img Commentslast_img

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