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21Sep/20

Sexton happy to uphold tradition

first_img “Everything you win is very special, but this is just unique. You are playing with guys you barely know, and you have to forge that bond. You saw by the celebrations that we did that. We did the Lions tradition proud. “The big motivation as a player is you want to be remembered when you hang up your boots, and you try to win as much as possible and do the right things as much as possible. Winning a Lions series is definitely part of that.” Unlike in Melbourne seven days previously, the Lions took the game to Australia early on, and they were rewarded by building a 19-3 lead just before half-time. And although the Wallabies clawed back that deficit to just three points, Sexton’s try was part of an unanswered 22-point blitz that meant the Lions claimed the second biggest-winning Test margin in their 125-year history. “It’s very easy when the momentum goes that you think it’s not your day,” he added. “I am really proud of the way we stuck in there. No-one changed the plan and no-one panicked (at 19-16), and we swung it back. “The set-piece was the difference. Obviously, our scrum was dominant, and in the lineout we got a bit of ball and we used George (North), Jamie (Roberts) and Tommy (Bowe) to get us over the gain-line and on the front foot. “I ran the inside line for my try, but when I saw it on the replay, I thought ‘oh no, he (referee) is going to do it for a forward pass which would have been the biggest let-down ever. But thankfully, Leigh’s (Halfpenny’s) hands went backwards and I caught it behind me.” Ireland star Jonathan Sexton will head to a new career in France satisfied that Warren Gatland’s class of 2013 “did the Lions tradition proud”. The fly-half playmaker scored a try during the British and Irish Lions’ 41-16 third Test demolition of Australia, and he proved a major attacking catalyst throughout. And he was quick to recognise the scale of a Test series victory that was the Lions’ first since they toppled South Africa 16 years ago. “This is huge for me,” said Sexton, who will now join wealthy Paris club Racing Metro from Leinster on a lucrative six-figure deal. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

16Sep/20

Defensive lapses sink Syracuse in loss to Georgia Tech

first_img Published on January 12, 2019 at 10:40 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Curtis Haywood II’s hand rose in the air with Frank Howard a couple feet in front of him. A quick pass to Jose Alvarado, alone in the corner, ended in a 3 and prompted Syracuse to call a timeout.Right before half court, SU head coach Jim Boeheim walked over to Howard. The two talked about what had happened: Howard dashed to Haywood II and left Alvarado open. Georgia Tech took a six-point lead and the Orange never recovered.Syracuse looked much more polished after opening conference play with two straight wins. The defense that shut down Clemson was confronted with a weak offense in Georgia Tech that “survives” on its defense, GT head coach Josh Pastner said. But while Georgia Tech’s defense stifled the Orange, the Yellow Jackets’ (10-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) offense erupted and shot 59.5 percent from the field. Much of that success came from Georgia Tech’s game plan of feeding its bigs in the middle of the paint, leading it to a 73-59 win over Syracuse (11-5, 2-1) on Saturday night inside the Carrier Dome.Georgia Tech’s big men instantly made an impact. Abdoulaye Gueye was often guarded by Marek Dolezaj. He quickly took advantage of his strength advantage over the SU center. Gueye used a mixture of post moves to create separation on Dolezaj. He often backed the Slovakian native down before using a hook shot or layup off the glass.“(Dolezaj’s) a good player,” Boeheim said, “but he has trouble when he goes 1-on-1 with those guys.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlvarado said the team knew to feed the big men because Syracuse’s defense likes to play “high.” That led to 1-on-1 opportunities with Dolezaj, Bourama Sidibe or Paschal Chukwu down low. When SU doubled the post, a GT big man kicked the ball back out for an open opportunity.For the first time all season, Pastner started Gueye along with James Banks III, another big that dominated Syracuse’s interior defense. Together, the duo combined for 20 of Georgia Tech’s 27 first-half points and rarely missed.“It was part of our equation,” Pastner said. “Thinking about (Dolezaj on defense).”While Dolezaj was able to accumulate five steals, very rarely did the rest of the SU defense collapse on Gueye and Banks III, triggering 1-on-1 opportunities with players that are 37 pounds and 63 pounds heavier than Dolezaj, respectively.It is no secret Dolezaj struggles with bigger and stronger athletes, especially in the post. But against Notre Dame and Clemson, the big men were kept in check. He was able to get around players and poke the ball loose, rather than having to try and stop them in the low post.Notre Dame had just 14 points in the paint, while Clemson put up 22 against Syracuse. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, matched with 36, even with Gueye suffering a cramp with 15:43 left in the second half, forcing him to miss the rest of the game. The damage had been done, though.When Boeheim opted to combat Banks III and Gueye’s interior presence with a bigger player in Sidibe, the duo still found a way to score. One play, Alvarado saw Banks III slip by Sidibe for a wide-open alley-oop. Banks III added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.“(Gueye and Banks III) did a really nice job of being patient and poised,” Pastner said, “when they caught the ball. They didn’t panic.”Oshae Brissett called it “defensive lapses,” as a team. Frank Howard said, “we weren’t engaged.”SU’s defensive failures didn’t just happen inside the paint with Gueye and Banks III. Alvarado and Haywood II often found themselves open in the corner or at the top of the key, pulling the trigger from 3. The duo made 6-of-9 from beyond the arc.Whenever it seemed like Syracuse was mustering up a run to cut the deficit to single digits, Georgia Tech would nail a deep ball, or get an offensive rebound and second-chance opportunity.Syracuse resorted to a full-court press for most of the game’s final 10 minutes, trying to force the Georgia Tech guards into making mistakes. Instead, the offense was able to often find a cutter down the wing who would either score with ease or draw a foul.Anything Syracuse threw at Georgia Tech defensively, it seemed like the Yellow Jackets were already a step ahead. Turnovers resulted in transition buckets. GT outscored SU in the paint by 20 and shot well, both 59.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3.With six minutes left, an inbound pass from Brissett was picked off by Michael Devoe. Tyus Battle slid over to help Buddy Boeheim with a half-court trap. But he drove in the paint and kicked it out to Evan Cole who quickly passed it to Haywood II.Wide open, at the top of the key, Haywood II released the shot. He stood there, watching, hand up in the air once again. He didn’t move until the ball swished through the net and made contact with the ground. Another Syracuse error that resulted in a wide open 3.“We made too many mistakes in the second half,” Boeheim said. “That put us in a hole we couldn’t recover from.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more