No. 3 Syracuse overcomes sloppy play to escape late run by Army in 9-8 win

first_img Published on February 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettus With 33 seconds left in a one-goal game, Syracuse head coach John Desko wanted the ball in Tim Barber’s stick.Coming out of a timeout with possession and the lead, all Barber had to do was outrun the Army defense and dish the ball to an open teammate to stall — simple, but not easy.Army doubled Barber and drove him to the turf as he raced toward the far sideline. The Black Knights picked up the ball and carried it the other way. Army’s Cole Johnson cocked back and fired a shot with seven seconds left that hit SU goalie Warren Hill’s stick then ricocheted off the post and bounced back into play.“As soon as I heard it hit off the pipe I got scared for a second there,” Hill said. “But it popped out and luckily it didn’t go in.”No. 3 Syracuse (3-0) just barely avoided an upset in a 9-8 win over Army (2-2) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday. The Orange gave up 12 turnovers, committed four penalties that led to three goals, and its overall sloppy play contributed to an Army comeback in the second half. Thanks to a goal by Barber with just three and a half minutes left in the game, Syracuse still came away with the victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew that Army was going to come in and play for 60 minutes,” Desko said. “… We got maybe a little comfortable when we got up by four goals in the third period and, as expected, Army crawled back into the game.“It could have gone the other way. To get out of here and be 3-0 is a good thing for us right now.”A week removed from putting up 59 shots against then-No. 12 Albany, Army held SU to 30 compared to the the Black Knights’ 34.SU’s Ben Williams was dominant on the faceoff again, winning 13-of-19 at the X. But twice, Syracuse was called for an offside violation heading into the offensive zone and Black Knights players were able to pick up a handful of errant passes by the Orange, preventing the face-off wins from turning into shots.One minute into the second half, Syracuse held a 7-3 lead. SU had scored twice since the break and appeared as if it could cruise to a win until midfielder Nick Mariano was called for interference.Mariano had shoved Army’s Luke Poulos, who was trying to set a pick, once, getting the attention of the referee, then twice, drawing the foul. Desko yelled at Mariano as Mariano crouched on the sideline and 27 seconds later the Black Knights scored in a man-up situation.“We tried to tell him from the sideline not to do that,” Desko said. “In a close game like this, we don’t need to create extra-man opportunities. … We weren’t happy with the play as coaches.”On SU’s next offensive possession, Paolo Ciferri skipped a pass to Dylan Donahue off the turf and out of bounds, despite Donahue only standing about 10 yards away. Army took advantage again.The Black Knights defense wasn’t sliding much, which could leave a man open for a pass, and forced Syracuse’s players to dodge to score. Sometimes SU lost the ball on a dodge. Other times, the Orange forced passes into traffic that never met their intended targets.“Our D did a great job,” Army head coach Joe Alberici said. “Those guys executed the game plan in the half field very very well. … I think the stats kind of say what these guys did.”After falling behind by four goals, the Black Knights scored five of the next six to tie the game at eight goals apiece with just four and a half minutes left in the contest.Barber made himself the hero by putting Syracuse ahead with 3:27 left, scoring on a top-corner shot on Army goalie AJ Barretto after curling from behind the cage. But he also coughed the ball up in the final minute, giving the Black Knights another chance to tie the game.If not for a matter of a few inches, they could have.“We’re going to learn from that,” Desko said. “We’re going to show the film about these guys. … We’ve got to get back out there tomorrow, show the guys the mistakes that we made and then turn around and refocus.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Lakers’ Roy Hibbert believes he will overcome early conditioning issues

first_imgBut despite finishing last in the conditioning drills that were open to reporters on Wednesday, Hibbert still argued he’s “doing all right.” After losing 15 pounds of fat and changing his diet this offseason, Hibbert maintained his investment will soon net some long-term gains. “I don’t want to finish last. So I’ll keep at it,” Hibbert said. “I knew what I was getting myself into when I came here. That’s why I prepared myself during the summer by running a lot more than I have in the past.”• VIDEO: Lakers writer Mark Medina recaps Day 3 of training camp in HawaiiScott has prided himself on running conditioning-heavy drills in training camp, believing the work usually reserved for track stars will help elevate his players’ endurance late in games. Scott also rarely hesitates to criticize a players’ performance or effort. Yet, Scott did not hold Hibbert’s stamina issues against him.“He works as hard as he can and does whatever he can to help out his teammates,” Scott said. “Defensively, he’s the captain back there navigating everybody and letting everybody know what needs to be done. These last three practices, I’ve been very happy with how he has helped younger guys.” HONOLULU >> The Lakers’ big men stood side by side on the baseline, waiting for coach Byron Scott to blow his whistle before laboring through another conditioning drill.Within seconds, Lakers center Roy Hibbert already was a few seconds behind everyone else. That routine lasted for several minutes at the end of the Lakers’ morning session on Wednesday at Stan Sheriff Center, leaving Hibbert hunching over to catch his breath once he finished. He then needed a few minutes to clear his mind before talking with Los Angeles News Group. “I haven’t done sprints like that since I was in college [at Georgetown],” the 28-year-old Hibbert said. “But most of the time when we ran, I was dead-last by a considerable amount.”Hibbert spent his seven-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers before they traded him this past offseason to the Lakers. The Pacers made the move despite receiving only a second-round draft pick, eager to shed themselves of his expiring $15.5 million contract. But Indiana’s trade also reflected Hibbert’s struggle to adapt to the franchise’s shift toward fielding a quicker and smaller lineup. Still, Hibbert sounded aware something else could determine whether he can write his comeback story with the Lakers. All the numbers suggest that NBA teams should go small, the influx of speedy point guards and outside shooters forcing the game to put less of an emphasis on size and power. So Hibbert shed some pounds so he would no longer remain seen as a plodding center.““It’s changed some things up,” Hibbert said. “But I feel I’m in a place where I can hold my own in the post and get up and down the court.”Hibbert hopes to emulate Golden State’s Andrew Bogut. Hibbert argued Bogut’s contributions on the Warriors’ NBA title run became overshadowed by the outside shooting from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as the defense from Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green. Yet, the 7-foot Bogut still landed on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team and finished sixth in Defensive Player of the Year votes despite averaging a career-low 23.6 minutes per game. “He didn’t score a lot, and he’s not the fastest guy out there. No disrespect to him,” Hibbert said of Bogut. “I admire his game and how he sacrifices what he does to help his team win a championship. I don’t mind being the older guy that has to sacrifice and be the defensive anchor.”Hibbert sure had to sacrifice in his last season with the Indiana Pacers after averaging only 10.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. But the Lakers are leaning on Hibbert’s credentials as a former two-time All-Star and an All-NBA second defensive team member to revamp the Lakers after finishing 29th out of 30 NBA teams in defensive efficiency.“He knows his positioning and angles,” Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell said of Hibbert. “On defense, he protects the rim well and communicates his butt off. On the offensive end, he’s a threat. He can step out and make 10- or 8-foot jumpers. He’s a big body and really knows what he’s doing.”Hibbert said he also knows how to diet properly. He listened to the Lakers’ feedback in varying his eating times and nourishing his body with more protein. He did not listen to his inner voice.“Would I like to have a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting? Yeah, I would,” Hibbert said, laughing. “But this is part of my game.” So is running, a skill that leaves Hibbert wanting more even as he gasps for air. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more