Syracuse tops UConn, 79-76, in wild affair to stay undefeated

first_imgPARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Trevor Cooney, Michael Gbinije and Jim Boeheim walked down the lobby of the Atlantis Resort to a hero’s welcome. Cooney was still in uniform, two large ice bags taped to both of his knees. He waved to the roaring orange-clad fans roped off just inches away. Boeheim high-fived a security guard, whose other hand was occupied with a camera phone, documenting the moment.When the head coach sat down for his press conference, he could hardly be heard over the “Let’s go Orange” roars that permeated throughout the hallway.“It’s like an NCAA (Tournament) game,” Boeheim said.Renewing a Big East rivalry for the first time, Syracuse (5-0) took the lead over Connecticut (4-1) on the back of three-straight 3-pointers in the second half and muscled its way to a 79-76 win in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Syracuse fell down by 10 early and nearly gave up a 10-point lead late, but held on to defeat its first ranked opponent following a season where it had only two top-25 victories.Tyler Lydon scored 16 points and recorded 12 rebounds. Five players scored at least 13, and the Orange recorded 41 rebounds to UConn’s 33.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Both teams are getting up and down at the end, making plays, scoring baskets,” Cooney said. “Those are the type of games you want to play in.”First a long Lydon 3 swished through the net to tie the score at 44. He allowed himself a small celebration running up the court after clanking a fade-away two off the rim just moments before.On the next possession Malachi Richardson hit a 3 from the corner in front of the SU bench with a hand in his face. When SU got the ball back 23 seconds after that, it was a wide-open Gbinije that drained a 3 on the opposite end. UConn coach Kevin Ollie called a timeout and a much larger celebration ensued. It was a 50-47 lead that would only grow and never be given away.Not when Rodney Purvis hit three 3s in less than three minutes to cut the lead back to two. And not when Cooney lost track of the clock and had to shoot a 35-foot 3 with eight seconds left in the game.SU had sustained the first UConn punch. When Sterling Gibbs scored on an easy outlet layup off a Cooney miss, it gave him eight points in the first three minutes and the Huskies a six-point lead. But by the time he stood isolated in the corner of the court, hands at his hips after recording his fourth foul with in the second half, it was clear that Connecticut had no answer for how SU would fight back.“(Syracuse) played a great game in the second half,” Ollie said, “really took it to us offensively.”Cooney didn’t realize that the shot clock was about to expire. Only when there were two ticks left did he heave a miss off the side rim. Tyler Roberson, who had muscled on the glass for four offensive boards, skied up for his fifth and final one. The ball spent the last three seconds of the game in the hands of Richardson, who heaved it all the way down court.The finish was anti-climactic in its sudden end, but antithetical to a game in which no one ever seemed dead. As the clock ran out and Syracuse celebrated, a rivalry was reborn, and Syracuse picked up a season-defining win.After the fanfare of the press conference and after his players began to leave the makeshift locker room, Boeheim went back out to the concourse and sat alone on an armchair big enough to be a throne. There was no one around him, no one to high-five. Just a moment to soak in, if only temporarily.“It was a great game,” Boeheim said. “I can’t say enough for these guys. It was just a really good win.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 26, 2015 at 7:47 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3last_img read more

Hamilton aims to bounce back with record sixth home win

first_imgHis Ferrari counterpart Mattia Binotto played down their chances of a repeat of Sebastian Vettel’s triumph last year, despite their stronger showing in Austria where Charles Leclerc finished second from pole behind the triumphant Max Verstappen of Red Bull.Four-time world champion Vettel has gone 17 races since last August without a win and lies 76 points adrift of Hamilton in the title race.Victory in Austria lifted Verstappen ahead of the German and he and Red Bull, based at nearby Milton Keynes, with big local home support, may also be a major threat to Hamilton’s home-coming dream after flying in from Los Angeles.“Max has been the best in the world, arguably, over the last 12 months,” said his team boss Christian Horner. “He is the coming man. This sport is crying out for more drivers like Max.”Beyond the top three teams, McLaren will seek to make an impression notably after confirming an unchanged driver line-up, including British rookie Lando Norris, 19, for next year.Silverstone officials believe the allure of the drivers and an encouraging weather forecast will result in the biggest attendance since the days of ‘Mansell-mania’ in the early 1990s.Last year’s race-day crowd of 140,500 was the biggest of the season and Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle said he expects that to be beaten.“This is going to be the largest since Mansell brought people here in their droves in 1992,” he said.The Silverstone circuit, once a wartime airfield, hosted the first World Championship Grand Prix in 1950 and, along with Italy, has been an ever-present since.The Italian race at Monza in September is expected to be re-confirmed for the future while events in Vietnam and the Netherlands are set to be part of a refreshed 21-race calendar in 2020.Share on: WhatsApp Lewis Hamilton is aiming to bounce back from a rare weekend of disappointment by winning his home British Grand PrixSilverstone, United Kingdom | AFP |  Lewis Hamilton is aiming to bounce back from a rare weekend of disappointment by winning his home British Grand Prix for a record sixth time this weekend — and in front of the biggest crowd at the historic Silverstone circuit in nearly three decades.After suffering in the heat and rarefied atmosphere of Austria’s Styrian Alps, where he finished a hot-and-bothered fifth two weeks ago, the defending world champion and his Mercedes team are expected to revel in the gentler undulations and wider mix of corners in cooler conditions in central England.A sixth victory overall and fifth in six years at a track he loves would also be his seventh in 10 races this year and extend his 31-point lead ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ championship.“This is the race that has become the most anticipated event of the season for me and it is the weekend I always enjoy the most,” said Hamilton, who was quick to celebrate Wednesday’s confirmation of a new five-year contract that will keep the British Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar until 2024.“Having the support of your country concentrated into one weekend really makes for the most incredible few days. It is difficult to count what you gain from all that positivity –- everyone’s energy is priceless.”If he wins, Hamilton will move clear of fellow Briton Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost, with whom he shares the current record of five wins.After suffering their first defeat after an unprecedented run of eight victories, Mercedes are keen to restore their supremacy in the team’s home event –- both the car and engine factories are based close to Silverstone.– Mercedes ‘in good shape’ –“The high temperatures in Austria exposed our vulnerability and meant we could not challenge to win,” said team boss Toto Wolff.“But, fortunately, the English summer is known for more moderate temperatures so cooling should not be such a major issue.“We’ve had some of our best performances this year on tracks with a wide range of corner speeds so, on paper, we should be in relatively good form.”last_img read more