SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Syracuse conquered the Coppin State Eagles 88-56. The Syracuse bench accounted for 50 points, and senior forward Taylor Ford led the charge with a career-high 21 points on eight of ten from the field. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman was very emotional when giving credit to Ford for her performance.
“It was tough the last couple games because I didn’t give her the minutes she deserves: I couldn’t watch her underachieve, I couldn’t watch it,” Hillsman said. “She has a big heart, I’m really happy for the kid, she’s really struggled this year and it’s hard to see her like this.”
Ford played high school basketball for one of Hillsman’s best friends who asked him to take care of her before he past away, he said.
Syracuse (6-2) led since the beginning of the first quarter but it looked concerning when junior center Briana Day had her second foul with 7:28 to go in the first. Coppin State (2-6) scored press break transition baskets that kept them close in the first quarter. The Orange went on a 6-0 run with 2:41 left in the first quarter and red shirt senior guard Maggie Morrison and Ford gave energy off the bench with five and seven points respectively, to put the Orange up 20-12. Ford felt she needed to redeem herself tonight for her team.
“This game I was really focused on running the floor as hard as I could and playing hard every moment, to help them out,” Ford said. “I think I did a really good job today.”
Freshman swing Julia Chandler opened the second quarter with a block as the Eagles 30 second clock was winding down and they were forced to put up a shot. Coppin State was feeling the pressure and junior guard Keena Samuels received a technical foul. Senior guard Briana Butler hit both free throws to extend the Orange lead 25-12. Junior guard Alexis Peterson hand an offensive foul giving her her third foul sending her to the bench for the rest of the half. In back-to-back possessions Ford had a defensive board and a three-point shot. The Orange closed out the half 37-21.
The Orange blew the game open in the second half scoring 51 points.
“It was fun to coach the second half because everything that we did worked,” Hillsman said.
The Orange hit 7 threes in the second half and 14 for the game. The Orange tend to struggle out-rebounding teams, but they were able to grab 39 boards to the Eagle’s 31.
Syracuse’s deep bench proved the deciding factor of the game. They were able to press and push the ball until the end of the fourth quarter. The Eagles fatigued and Syracuse was able to capitalize on turnovers taking a commanding 30-point lead.
Chandler also had a career high eleven points, including three threes. Alexis Peterson had 15 points and five assists. Coppin State senior center Omaah Tayong had 14 points and teammate Samuels had 13.
The Orange play Arizona State Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The Sundevils are ranked 24 in week 5 of the AP polls.