Without Morrow, SU posts abysmal performance from beyond arc in win

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ With Erica Morrow on the sidelines nursing a bruised foot Wednesday night, Syracuse’s other outside shooting presences, La’Shay Taft and Tasha Harris, were expected to fill her shoes. But neither player could. No one hit a shot from outside. Morrow might have sat on the end of the bench with her right foot in a boot, but for most of the night, she made as many 3-pointers as the rest of the Orange. It wasn’t until Taft knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing with less than eight minutes to play in the second half that SU broke out of a long-range shooting slump. Syracuse’s first 3-pointer came after 20 straight misses from beyond the arc. ‘Probably a lot of it — in the first half — was really my fault,’ SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. ‘We were playing off-ball reversal, and I really wasn’t letting them shoot the ball freely. I was really trying to get them to get the ball inside. ‘A lot of the 3-point shooting, not shooting the ball confidently, it’s partly my fault.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Syracuse made do without any success from long range Wednesday night, cruising past Maryland Eastern Shore, 73-50. The Orange overmatched UMES inside, with a career night for Kayla Alexander and 21 offensive rebounds. But the inside presence masked a problem for Syracuse — ice-cold shooting from outside. Taft shot 1-of-9 from 3. Harris and Carmen Tyson-Thomas missed four 3-pointers apiece. Rachel Coffey, who made her first career start with Morrow out, missed three of her own. ‘It’d make things easier if they made shots from outside,’ said Alexander, who had a career-high 27 points. ‘(But) if you take away one thing, we have another.’ The Orange players struggled to put points on the board when they weren’t coming from inside the paint. Sixty-six of SU’s 73 points came from inside the paint or at the free-throw line. Syracuse reversed the ball back and forth around the arc, but no matter who found an open look for SU, the Orange kept missing. And there was no Morrow to step onto the court and help the Orange break out of the slump. ‘I told our players, without Erica Morrow we don’t win,’ Hillsman said. ‘If this was a conference game, or a big game, she could have played. … We were just trying to make sure she could protect it.’ Morrow is a 31 percent career shooter from 3-point range, but this year’s Syracuse team is currently shooting 28 percent from deep. Taft entered the night having made 12-of-28 3-pointers in SU’s first four wins, but even she couldn’t get hot Wednesday. Multiple times, Harris found Taft open in the corner. Taft’s shots were long or short, but she couldn’t find a rhythm. Hillsman emphasized he wants Taft to keep shooting. Three-point shooting is her strength. And if SU has a consistent 3-point shooter on its roster, it’s probably her. ‘Every time she catches it, they run full speed at her,’ Hillsman said. ‘I want people to be nervous. Because one of these games, she’s going to go 8-for-9, and it’s going to be a big night.’ Hillsman told the entire team to keep shooting. In the first half, he said he pulled the reigns in a bit on the outside shooting because he wanted to exploit Maryland Eastern Shore’s interior defense. But he told them to shoot freely in the second half. Even so, the Orange actually shot more 3-pointers in the first half (13) than in the second half (10). Better shot selection, but SU still only made one of those second-half 3s. The cold night shooting from outside didn’t hurt the Orange Wednesday, but as SU prepares for a tough stretch just more than a week from now — No. 6 Ohio State and No. 2 Baylor — a continuation of Wednesday night’s poor shooting could end in a couple losses. Morrow’s injury was a one-game deal, so she’ll be back. And the rest of Syracuse’s 3-point threats just need to keep shooting. ‘You’ve got to shoot out of it,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We kept shooting. Though it wasn’t going in, we crashed the boards. Because that’s something we do.’ [email protected] Published on December 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjrcenter_img Commentslast_img read more