Syracuse goes winless in Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, edged by Buffalo 88-79
Anya Wijeweera | Photo Editor
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Syracuse’s Christianna Carr and Buffalo’s Dyashia Fair held a 61-second 3-point shooting showdown in the middle of the second quarter. The two traded off consecutive 3-pointers, making two each, that saw the lead change based on who cashed in each respective 3.
Christianna entered Monday’s game tied for the team lead with nine 3-pointers made and had already made four by halftime. But she had no choice as Fair was on a similar hot streak from long-range. While Christianna left the first half shooting four-for-six from beyond the arc, Fair missed just one of her eight 3 point attempts, as Syracuse trailed the Bulls 48-44.
By the halfway point of the third quarter, Buffalo’s lead had increased to 10 points, 58-48, with Syracuse another seemingly routine three-pointer away from contention. However, Eboni Walker missed her three-point attempt, and Buffalo secured the rebound, quickly sending the ball up the court to Summer Hemphill, who sunk her 3 from the top of the arc to give Buffalo its biggest lead of the game.
Syracuse (2-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) did not find another lead as it fell to Buffalo (2-2) 88-79 in a game that was defined by 3-point shooting. The Bulls had only made 14 3-pointers in their first three games, but on Monday, Buffalo made 13 3’s, shooting 59 percent.
The Bulls’ scoring streak amounted to a 13-2 run in the third quarter, which led to Syracuse’s 12 point deficit heading into the final quarter. After Hemphill’s clutch 3-pointer, two costly turnovers by the Orange sparked Buffalo’s run. Alaysia Styles’ layup attempt was blocked by Loren Christie which allowed Hemphill to sink another quick 3-pointer at the other end. Then Najé Murray conceded a passing turnover within the Buffalo paint. Jazmine Young intercepted it and drove down the court for a quick layup.
Both Fair and Hemphill notched 34 and 28 points, respectively. The duo also scored a combined 11 three-pointers, something Syracuse’s season-high three-point shooting couldn’t contain. But what the Orange struggled with most was Buffalo’s speedy transition, despite being a team that relies on its speed.
The Orange shot 50 percent from 3-point range but conceded 15 turnovers. In the opening quarter, Chrislyn Carr allowed a costly turnover at center court, which Buffalo collected and sparked a possession that featured a missed layup from Cheyenne McEvans. But Hemphill collected the offensive rebound, the Bulls recycled possession and Hemphill found Fair at the top of the arc who sank what would be a string of routine 3’s.
Syracuse was also able to take advantage of its opponent’s turnovers, which led to 28 of Syracuse’s points. After Syracuse’s seven-point loss to Minnesota, acting head coach Vonn Read remarked on the Orange’s improvement on turnovers. The Gophers allowed 20 turnovers, which led to 17 of SU’s points. Syracuse also conceded just eight turnovers after allowing at least 15 in its previous four games.
Meanwhile, Buffalo entered Monday’s game allowing just 12 turnovers, ranked 19th nationally. But midway through the fourth quarter, Hemphill conceded Buffalo’s 19th turnover of the game and Murray stole it. Murray led a quick Orange attack and found Chrislyn along the right edge of the arc. Chrislyn’s jumper was good, making it a perfect five-for-five from 3 point range, and limiting Syracuse’s deficit to six points.
Syracuse has shown glimpses of its 3-point shooting progression throughout the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Against Minnesota, Syracuse sank seven of its 22 3-point attempts. Christianna, Chrislyn and Murray combined for six of them, scoring two each. But the Orange’s 3-point shooting faltered in the fourth quarter as it shot 0-for-8.
Much like Sunday, Syracuse’s scoring relied mainly on its starters. Against Minnesota, Syracuse’s bench went scoreless. Against Buffalo, that bench was shortened with Jayla Thornton, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s all-time 3-point scorer, sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Then early in the fourth quarter, Chrislyn went down temporarily with an injury, and Syracuse’s plans for a final surge toward a comeback was diminished. More turnovers were committed and the Orange’s short bench couldn’t salvage the team from going winless in the Bahamas.
Published on November 22, 2021 at 9:28 pm
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