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Syracuse gets signature win over No. 11 Florida State, 76-69, despite weak performance on offensive glass

September 16, 2020

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Freshman center Amaya Finklea-Guity said it felt like every time a shot went up, there was at least two Florida State rebounders.“It was one of me and two of them,” Finklea-Guity said. “So every time I felt like I got one, the other one would get the rebound.”The offensive rebound margin held by FSU seemed to agree. The Seminoles grabbed 24 offensive boards compared to just nine for SU. But somehow, it didn’t matter as Syracuse (14-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) pulled off the upset of No. 11 Florida State (14-2, 2-1) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday, 76-69, behind 13 3-point makes.The Seminoles entered Sunday’s contest averaging fewer than three more rebounds per game than the Orange. But from the opening tip, FSU had a larger edge down low.On the game’s first possession, Chatrice White, Florida State’s starting center, missed her initial layup attempt but corralled the ball off the rim. She missed the putback attempt, too, but Syracuse failed to secure that rebound and it bounced off an SU player out of bounds. Only on the third try did FSU’s leading scorer, Shakayla Thomas, get a layup.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Seminoles’ next basket came courtesy of the offensive glass, as well. AJ Alix missed a 3-point attempt but Ama Degbeon grabbed the board. After FSU ran another offensive set, White got a chance to finish inside and did.To gauge what the offensive rebounding edge did for Florida State, second chance points are a good barometer. There, FSU had a 23-7 advantage, a 16-point edge.“We got smashed on the offensive glass,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said.Numerous times when a Florida State shot came off the rim, Syracuse displayed a lot of fight to grab the board. The ball would be tipped back up into the air, one, two,  even three times by competing players. But the result of these tip drills was often an FSU offensive rebound.“I just tried as much as I can to at least box one of them out,” Finklea-Guity said, “so I knew at least I could get this one not to get the rebound.”Hillsman felt that the way SU reversed that bad margin was with a positive one: its 3-point shooting. There, the Orange held a 13-7 advantage in makes over the Seminoles, creating an 18-point edge from behind the arc, more than making up for the second-chance points edge held by FSU. Miranda Drummond had eight 3s on a career-night and Gabrielle Cooper added two of her own.But Syracuse had to try and hold its own inside to prevent it from becoming pure domination by FSU down low. A big part of that was the 6-foot-4 Finklea-Guity’s contribution. She tallied four defensive rebounds, on multiple occasions rising over Seminoles who weren’t boxed out to snatch the ball. She also played a big part in tipping a few of the more difficult rebounds to her teammates to collect.Finklea-Guity fouled out on Thursday against Georgia Tech, and her normal partner on the glass, Digna Strautmane, fouled out Sunday. But Finklea-Guity avoided fouling by keeping her arms straight up on drives and ended with just one foul.“I knew that especially this game,” Finklea-Guity said, “it was important for me to stay in because they had so many great bigs.”She held her own on the offensive end as well, making a tough fadeaway shot, finishing her layups and making all three of her free throws in a season-high 33 minutes. Finklea-Guity grabbed an offensive rebound of her own as well, which she quickly fed to Drummond for a lay-in.After the game, Hillsman was especially pleased with his players’ effort against what he called a Final Four-caliber team with at least three players with WNBA talent. FSU showed a lot of that ability on the glass. But Syracuse did enough elsewhere to prevent it from showing on the scoreboard.“I’m really proud of our players fighting through this game, we knew that it’d be tough, physical game in the paint,” Hillsman said. “… That’s the signature win we’re looking for.” Comments Published on January 7, 2018 at 5:39 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img

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