Syracuse annihilates Maryland Eastern Shore by program record 71-point margin

first_imgCornelia Fondren was positioned at the top of the key. Quentin Hillsman was on the sideline with his eyes blankly staring, focused on the play in front of him.The head coach shouted for Fondren to cut to the basket. The sophomore obliged and raced forward to the dish, where Shakeya Leary fed her the ball for the easy finger roll.It was like clockwork. All night, Syracuse bullied Maryland Eastern Shore, scoring on command.“We just got it clicking,” Hillsman said. “Tonight, I’ll be honest with you, we played phenomenal, and Maryland Eastern Shore obviously didn’t play that well tonight.”The words “phenomenal” and “not that well” could classify as an understatement. The Orange (4-0) routed the Lady Hawks (1-3) 113-42 at the Carrier Dome in front of 402 fans. The points scored and the margin of victory were both program records for Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe catalyst for the Orange was Brianna Butler, who scored SU’s first nine points. She posted a career-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. The sophomore played only 20 minutes, but was given tons of open opportunities.With the Orange being outscored in the second half, Hillsman went back to his starters who had been out for the past seven minutes about halfway through. Butler went back to work. Just moments after being reinserted into the game, she knocked down her seventh 3-pointer to propel an 8-0 run by Syracuse.After the ball swished through the net, she calmly put her head down and jogged down the court.“When I caught the ball for the first time I was in rhythm,” Butler said. “And when I see the ball going in, I just got my confidence up. I was just able to hit the open shots that my teammates hit me with.”Butler and fellow sophomore Brittney Sykes combined for 42 points, the most they’ve had as a duo as Syracuse players. But they weren’t the only ones to get a piece of the action. Twelve of the 14 Syracuse players that saw the court put the ball in the basket.The large lead came as cold comfort to Hillsman, however. He spent the majority of the game pacing the sidelines, barking orders. Instead of calling it a night with the game in hand, he urged his players to keep their feet on the gas.“I was worried about going into halftime with such a large lead that our players wouldn’t come out in the second half and play hard,” Hillsman said.They proved him wrong, posting 49 second-half points. The only drama as the game waned into its final minutes was whether or not Syracuse would break the record for points in a game.La’Shay Taft put the fears to bed as she knocked down her third 3-pointer of the half to give SU a 104-39 lead, breaking the previous record of 103 points set on Jan. 24, 1978. Eighteen seconds later, she hit another 3.Taft wasn’t aware until after the game that her 3 had broken the record.“I guess I’ll be known for that for the longest,” Taft said, laughing, “until somebody snaps the record. It’s a good thing. It’s a plus.”The laughs flowed throughout the postgame press conference, as the Orange could reflect on a game where all the players were able to contribute.“Coach always talks about team basketball, and no matter what the score is on the clock,” Sykes said. “He’s really persistent, and really hard on us about team basketball.“We still need to play clean basketball and be sharp, because those are the teams that go far in the season.” Comments Published on November 20, 2013 at 11:14 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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