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Hall’s career day, Alexander’s consistency sparks Orange in win over DePaul

first_imgElashier Hall was banged up and bruised.Hall could’ve chosen not to play. But that option never crossed her mind.“I always tease Lacie. I say, ‘You’re just old,’” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said with a smile. “She’s really banged up, but unless I say she can’t go, she’s going to go.”And go she did. Hall sparked Syracuse (15-1, 3-0 Big East) to an 84-80 win over DePaul (13-5, 2-2) Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome. The senior finished with 23 points, six rebounds and five steals, and complemented center Kayla Alexander to create a lethal one-two punch. Hall helped the Orange get off to hot starts in each half and came up with pivotal buckets down the stretch to ignite SU to a come-from-behind win.Hall didn’t take long to leave her imprint on a game in which every basket mattered and the lead changed 13 times. After Cornelia Fondren hit Syracuse’s first shot, Hall caught on fire. She drilled a 3-pointer off of a pass from Brianna Butler to give SU a 5-3 lead.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTwo layups by DePaul’s Jasmine Penny put the Blue Demons in front by two. Hall responded with a runner. Moments later, though, an Anna Martin 3-pointer helped DePaul reclaim the lead.But Hall wasn’t done. She knotted the score at 10 on a laser from downtown. After another layup by Penny, Hall poured in a fourth and final jumper before getting a standing ovation from her teammates as she took a seat on the bench.“They were just falling, and I was feeling it,” Hall said. “And my teammates were giving me the ball.”Hall didn’t miss in the first half, thanks in large part to her ability to exploit the matchup she was given. At 5 feet 11 inches, the long guard Hall was matched up with Martin, who stands at just 5 feet 9 inches, for a good chunk of the game.Hillsman said Hall recognized the mismatch and came out with intensity and an unremitting goal to attack the basket whenever possible.“She was aggressive,” Hillsman said. “I thought she had a matchup where she could go to the basket, and she really got to the basket a lot tonight. She was really excellent.”Watch: The Orange overcomes “bumps and bruises” to defeat the Blue Demons TuesdayIn fact, Hillsman said 16 of Hall’s 18 shots came in the paint. The other two came from her two 3-pointers early in the first half.Hall said DePaul plays with a lot of energy and likes to push the ball up and down the court with urgency. While other teams deliberately slow the game down against the athletic Orange, Hall knew this game would be different.“Our goal is to try to keep them under 80 possessions,” Hall said. “They get 80 or 90 possessions a game because they play so fast.”Led by Penny and Martin, DePaul’s run-and-gun offensive scheme worked flawlessly in the first half. The Blue Demons took a 46-40 lead into the break, using a 13-4 run to earn the edge.But Hall made sure that trend didn’t continue. She scored eight of Syracuse’s first 15 points coming out of the break, eight in a row to propel SU back into the lead.“We came in the locker room at halftime and coach talked about giving more effort and more energy, and we knew we had a run in us,” Hall said. “We were able to get out and run.”Hall also opened the floor for Alexander. Syracuse’s star center finished the night with 24 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Hillsman said Hall’s penetration allowed Alexander to get easy looks and convert inside.“(Hall) took her player off the bounce, and that allowed Kayla to get lots of rebounds and putbacks,” Hillsman said. “I thought she did a lot to collapse the defense and to get us second-chance opportunities.”Alexander finished with eight offensive rebounds. Even when Hall missed, she was creating opportunities for Alexander to lay the ball back up and into the basket. DePaul center Katherine Harry stayed with Alexander at first, but as the game wore on she was visibly exhausted, and Alexander took advantage.Alexander said Hall stepped up at key moments in a key game for Syracuse. The duo carried SU to yet another Big East win in a game that went down to the wire.“We have a really strong team this year, from the freshmen to the seniors,” Alexander said. “Anyone can produce on any given night. You can always rely on different teammates to step up and have a big game.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 16, 2013 at 12:59 am Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHasscenter_img Related Stories As seniors lead freshmen, underclassmen return favorSyracuse survives toughest test of season with win over DePaullast_img read more

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