No. 10 Rutgers 55, Syracuse 44

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 04, 2012
Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman knew that one stat was the difference against No. 10 Rutgers. The Orange outrebounded and outshot the Scarlet Knights, but had way too many turnovers in a 55-44 loss on Tuesday night. ''The key was the 27 turnovers,'' Hillsman said. ''You have 27 turnovers you can't win that basketball game. To lose by 11 you had a chance to win the basketball game if you take care of the ball.'' Iasia Hemingway scored 14 points - all in the second half - to lead the Orange, who were coming off consecutive 51-point blowout victories. She had a quiet first half - taking only five shots. ''At halftime, my teammates were encouraging me,'' she said. ''You have to leave it all out there. You got to hit that mid-range jumper, that's what I did in the second half.'' Syracuse trailed by 11 early in the second half, but tied the game at 34 before Rutgers seniors April Sykes and Khadijah Rushdan took over. The two scored all 11 points during the decisive run. ''They made some tough plays, tough shots - late clock 3's,'' Hillsman said. Sykes scored 14 points and Rushdan added 13 for Rutgers (12-2, 1-0 Big East), which returned to the top 10 this week for the first time in three years. The Scarlet Knights were No. 3 on Nov. 17, 2008. Rushdan had the first five points of the decisive run with a three-point play and a pair of free throws, and Sykes converted a steal for a layup and hit a 3-pointer to make it 46-37 with just over 6 minutes left. Rushdan capped the burst with one more free throw. Syracuse (11-5, 0-2) could only get within six the rest of the way. ''They were as responsible for messing up their own shots,'' Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. ''We worked hard, but we think they probably contributed to the turnovers, too. At the end, they were missing shots, we were fortunate.'' The Orange trailed 28-20 at the break and fell behind by 11 early in the second half after Sykes' 3-point fling from the top of the key just beat the shot clock. The Orange then went on a 14-3 run to tie it at 34. Hemingway had six consecutive points during the burst. Trailing 16-15 midway through the first half, Rutgers held Syracuse to just four points the rest of the period, going on a 13-4 run. Erica Wheeler had the final five points during the surge, including a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left that made it 28-20. Carmen Tyson-Thomas provided the only real offense for Syracuse, scoring half the team's points, including eight of the first 10. She finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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