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Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm Every defensive stop provided an opportunity to run. Syracuse had narrowly hung to a three-point halftime lead, but that was in a methodical half-court game. Once the season-opening jitters were gone, it was time to change it up. It was time to fly. ‘What we were lacking in the first half were those transition buckets,’ junior forward Kris Joseph said. ‘Our transition played into it a lot. Our defense is what created it all.’ What began with the Orange struggling out of the gates Friday led to a runaway 68-46 victory over Northern Iowa in front of a crowd of 22,198 in its season opener inside the Carrier Dome. Syracuse used its defense to push the ball in transition and separate itself against a pesky Northern Iowa squad. The Orange overcame a horrific first half shooting performance by creating 12 turnovers and held the Panthers to just seven field goals in the second half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘This being the home opener, guys were nervous,’ senior forward Rick Jackson said. ‘But I think we came out the second half and we did a good job on defense and that helped out offense a lot. ‘We got out and ran.’ Within minutes of opening the second half, what was a tight game quickly turned into a beatdown. Though the Orange only scored four points on the break, pushing the tempo allowed SU to find players in spots by not letting the Panthers set up their defense. The difference was evident. Syracuse shot just 31.8 percent from the field in the first half, compared with 65.2 percent in the second. Syracuse also outscored Northern Iowa 45-26 in the second half. ‘That’s a long defense,’ Northern Iowa point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe said. ‘Those guys are long and when we got good looks, we just didn’t hit the shots. Credit their defense.’ Northern Iowa shot just 27.3 percent from the field for the game, making just 6-of-33 from 3-point territory. For a team that relies so much on the 3-point shot, the poor shooting numbers became too much to overcome. Eventually, Syracuse began hitting shots and it started rolling. But to the players, that was all generated by the stops that were made on the defensive side of the ball. ‘That’s what we stress,’ freshman Dion Waiters said. ‘We’re a great defensive team if everybody plays together. And in the second half, we started hitting shots.’ Jackson and Joseph led the Orange with 14 points apiece. Joseph failed to connect on a single field goal in the first half, but came up big in the second because of the Orange’s aggressiveness in transition in the second. With each second half 3-pointer or dunk, the home crowd erupted. A dunk by freshman C.J. Fair and a big 3 by Waiters added fuel to the fire. Just five minutes into the second half, SU was up by 15. By the end of the game, Syracuse was seemingly hitting everything it put up. The Orange finished the game by more than doubling its first half output. ‘The only difference in the game,’ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said, ‘we got same shots second half and (we) were a little more patient, and we knocked them down and they didn’t. Our defense was good, we hounded their shooters.’ With three new starters and four freshmen in Boeheim’s rotation, season-opening jitters were bound to happen. So at halftime, Boeheim settled his team down and the Orange never looked back. Boeheim’s calming message was simple. ‘Basically, just play basketball,’ Waiters said. ‘We were thinking too much. And just have fun while you’re out there. ‘Now we’re celebrating a ‘W.” [email protected] Comments
A motorcyclist from Corriverton, Region 6 (East Berbice-Corentyne) died after he slammed into a utility pole on Saturday.The man has been identified as Hemraj Sudama, 22, of Linepath, Corriverton.Dead: Hemraj SudamaReports are that Sudama was riding motorcycle CF 5587 along Jumai Street, Number 78 Village, Corentyne, when the accident occurred.Guyana Times was informed that the young man rode into a pothole and lost control before slamming into a Guyana Power and Light power pole. At the time of the accident, Sudama was not wearing a helmet, and as a result sustained injuries to the head.The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) employee was taken to the Skeldon Hospital where he was pronounced dead.Officer-in-charge of traffic in B Division (Berbice), Bhudnarine Persaud, said reports indicate that Sudama had been consuming alcohol prior to the accident.Sudama’s death pushed the road facility figure for Berbice to 13 for the year, compared with 14 for the corresponding period last year.Persaud explained that Jumai Street is not one of the major roads in Corriverton. “They are leaving the major roads and now going into the back streets killing themselves. We can’t send officers there to Police the roads. No one is expected to be speeding in those small streets. But even with that, I am of the view that if he was wearing a helmet he might just have had some injuries but would have been alive,” Persaud said.Meanwhile, as “Operation Safeway” enters its third week, the division’s traffic capability was on Monday boosted with an addition of eight ranks, who officially became Police officers on Saturday. This follows an addition of six ranks two weeks ago.