WBB : Syracuse earns revenge against Toledo, advances to WNIT semifinals in overtime win

first_img Comments Published on March 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Courtney Ingersoll and Toledo had a chance. Ingersoll, the nation’s top 3-point shooter, caught the ball at the top of the key and let go a high-arcing shot toward the rim.But her game-tying attempt fell short and the ball bounced off the rim and into Syracuse forward Troya Berry’s hands. Berry was immediately fouled and went to the line.‘We were switching every screen and we went man-to-man the last two possessions,’ Hillsman said in a phone interview Saturday. ‘So we knew we couldn’t give up a 3, so it just really wasn’t a clean look and I thought that was the most important thing.’After missing her first attempt, Berry got the second to fall to seal a 74-73 win for the Orange(22-14) in a back-and-forth overtime game with Toledo (24-10) at Savage Arena on Saturday.Neither team could pull away in regulation or overtime, as both made plays to stay within striking distance when one began to take the momentum. Perhaps the biggest came from Rachel Coffey, who nailed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the extra period and keep Syracuse’s season alive.SU took control in overtime and did just enough to edge the Rockets in a rematch of last year’s Women’s National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals that SU lost in overtime. The Orange moves on to the WNIT semifinals for the first time in program history, where it will face the winner of Sunday’s game between Virginia and James Madison at a site and time to be determined.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We understood what this game meant for our program,’ Hillsman said. ‘It just meant that we had the chance to get to the final four of a national tournament, so we’re very excited about the win.’It’s an opportunity the Orange would have missed out on for a second straight season had Coffey not come through in the clutch.Trailing 64-61, Syracuse took possession with 16 seconds remaining. The Orange rushed up court with the ball and the game resting in Coffey’s hands as the clock wound down. The SU guard released a fade-away 3-pointer from the left side that fell through the net to tie and game and give the Orange new life in overtime.Coffey finished the game with a career-high 23 points, going 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in an impressive shooting display.‘She played huge,’ Hillsman said. ‘And obviously we knew we had to keep scoring in their building, so we just wanted to make sure that we kept scoring the basketball and that we kept being aggressive.’In overtime, Syracuse took a five-point lead after Coffey hit a pair of free throws and appeared to be in control.But Toledo fought back to get one final chance to tie it.Rockets guard Andola Dortch, who led her team with 23 points, knocked down three free throws to cut the lead to three.That’s when Toledo’s Inma Zanoguera grabbed the rebound in traffic and found the sharpshooter Ingersoll open behind the arc.‘We knew that we had to contest shots and we wanted to get out on their best shooter and we did a pretty good job of doing that,’ Hillsman said.Berry controlled the rebound and went to the line to put the game out of reach with 6.5 seconds remaining. Dortch dribbled down court and banked a 3 in to end the game.But as she looked up at the scoreboard above her, the Toledo guard realized it was finally over and her team had fallen one point short. Meanwhile, Hillsman and the Orange knew they had extended their season for another game and were headed to the semifinals of the WNIT.‘I’m very excited for our players and they worked very hard playing four games in nine days is a tall task and win them all on the road,’ Hillsman said. ‘So I’m just really happy for them and happy for their effort.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img