Syracuse looks for revenge against Temple after last year’s loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] After waiting 379 days, Syracuse finally has a chance to avenge one of last season’s most devastating losses. On Dec. 2 of last year, Temple erased a 14-point Syracuse halftime lead and defeated the Orange 74-67 in Philadelphia. The Owls dominated the boards in the second half and took the lead for good with 4:41 remaining after going on 12-0 and 16-3 runs.On Monday, the No. 25 Orange (8-1) will be out for revenge in a 7 p.m. matchup against those same Owls (5-2) in the Carrier Dome. Sophomore guard Britney Sykes admitted this game will be a little bit of a payback opportunity for the Orange, and even went as far as guaranteeing victory. “I wouldn’t say revenge, (but) we’ve got a trick in store for them,” Sykes said. “It’s going to be a great game because they have the confidence to know that they beat us last year. And they did. But now we’re going to beat them.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter a 97-91 loss to then-No.25 Iowa on Dec. 5, the Orange has used an 11-day hiatus to tighten up its defense and defensive rebounding. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said Syracuse cannot give up 97 points and expect to win, especially when allowing five second-chance points in the second half. “I want us to play tough games. I want us to have a challenging schedule,” Hillsman said. “I didn’t want our freshmen to come in this year with a false sense of reality of what college basketball is about. It’s about playing tough teams.”While freshmen Isabella Slim, Briana and Bria Day, and Alexis Peterson have learned from playing upper-echelon teams like Washington State, Texas A&M, and Iowa early in their careers, veterans like Sykes and La’Shay Taft have battled with these high-caliber teams in the past.Another tough challenge comes Monday against Temple. “Every time we play them we battle with them,” Taft said. “ … We know they’re doing fairly well, and we know they’re a good team from playing them in previous years.”As it was in the loss to Iowa, defensive rebounding was the problem against Temple last year. The Owls outrebounded SU 48-32, including 25-13 in the second half. Thankfully for Syracuse, Temple has graduated center Victoria Macauley, who dominated SU center Kayla Alexander last year. The former Owl center scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Owls’ comeback. Macauley also had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Alexander only had two defensive rebounds. Temple does return junior guards Rateska Brown and Tyonna Williams, the second-and-third-leading scorers for the Owls in the game against SU last year. This year, Williams is the team’s third-leading scorer (11.7) and Brown (8.0) is the sixth leading scorer.But once again, the Orange will have to deal with a highly skilled rebounding team. Shi-Heria Shipp (8.3), Natasha Thames (6.9) and Erica Covile (5.6) all average more than five rebounds apiece. “Playing against Temple, they’ve gotten better, and we’ve gotten better as well,” Sykes said. “It’ll be another great game and hopefully we come out with the win.”Hillsman said this year’s Temple team is very similar to the one SU faced last December, and that the Owls like to play a “tough, hard-nosed” brand of basketball. But despite last season’s collapse, Syracuse’s upperclassmen have another previous matchup with Temple on their minds. Two years ago, Syracuse beat the Owls in the third round of the WNIT 82-68 to advance to play Toledo. While Sykes and Taft acknowledged the history between the two teams, Hillsman chose to focus on the game at hand. “We’ve got to win a basketball game,” Hillsman said. “I don’t know about (it being a payback game). We need to pay ourselves back by rebounding the basketball in the second half. That’s what it’s all about.” Commentslast_img

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