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Defensive changes, 3-point shooting, and more fast reactions from Syracuse’s 75-64 loss to South Dakota State

first_imgIn a back and forth game that featured scoring runs from each team in both of the final quarters, 6-seed South Dakota State (28-6, 15-1 Summit) eventually pulled away to upset No. 3 Syracuse, (25-9, 11-5 Atlantic Coast), 75-64, to advance to the Sweet 16 in Portland. Madison Guebert led the way for the Jackrabbits with 20 points, 18 coming via the 3-pointer. Tiana Mangakahia scored 18 points to go along with 8 assists, which surpassed Alexis Peterson by one for most in Syracuse history. The loss is SU’s first at home to a non-power 5 team since 2006, head coach Quentin Hillsman’s first season.Here are three immediate takeaways from Monday’s game.Kiara’s sparkKiara Lewis subbed into the game at the 6:24 mark in the first quarter, and for the remainder of the first half was arguably Syracuse’s best player. She scored seven points in the final five minutes, including a pull-up, and-1 jumper that put the Orange up 18-17 with two minutes to go. She stayed aggressive throughout the period and nearly finish it with another and-1, but settled with a couple of free throw attempts. Lewis’ play was similar to that of her performance versus Notre Dame last month when she played the majority of the first half in place of Mangakahia. She finished with a game-high nine first-half points on Monday, helping SU jump out to an early double-digit lead. Defensive adaptationsAdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn a matchup of two top-20 teams in the country in terms of scoring offense, both teams’ defensive schemes switched between man and zone. The Orange, who have played a 2-3 zone defense the whole season, adjusted to a man-to-man press and halfcourt defense throughout the game. South Dakota State, which usually uses man-to-man as its primary defensive gameplan, hit Syracuse back with its own 2-3 zone, which flustered SU. The Jackrabbits made the switch late in the second quarter after they fell behind by 12 points. Thanks in part to its zone, however, SDSU ended the half on a 9-0 run to cut the Orange’s lead to just two at the break. Third quarter 3-point festSouth Dakota State went into halftime down two after a strong finish to the first half and continued its run into the third quarter and caught fire from deep. After falling behind 45-40, the Jackrabbits got a bucket in the paint to kick off the run. Then Madison Guebert nailed a 3 that tied the game at 45, which kicked off a game-changing streak of 3s. After Myah Selland grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball back up to give South Dakota State the lead, Guebert nailed another 3 two minutes later. She was followed by Sydney Palmer, whose triple pushed SDSU’s lead to a game-high eight points. Amaya Finklea-Guity ultimately stopped the run with a short right hook, but not before South Dakota State had gone on a 13-0 run and taken control of the game. The Jackrabbits went into the fourth quarter up six and trailed briefly to begin the final period, but had the opportunity to pull away late thanks to their third-quarter scoring streak, which kept them in the game. Comments Published on March 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more