Syracuse falls out of AP Top 25 after losing 3 of last 4 games

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After losing three of its last four games following a Nov. 16 win against Albany, Syracuse women’s basketball fell out of this week’s AP Top 25 poll. It marked the end of the Orange (4-3) appearing in 24 consecutive polls, including every one last season and the first four this year.The losses started against then-No. 1 Oregon on Nov. 24, when the Ducks used a 31-point third quarter to pull away from the Orange. To that point, Syracuse had held Oregon to above a 26% shooting percentage in the first half — nearly half its average. “We came out in the third quarter and didn’t execute,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “Gave up two free throw rebounds, not communicating on the free throw line, and we can’t give up seven points when pretty much no time ran off the clock. “You can’t beat the No. 1 team in the country like that.”But then the Orange followed that up with their best shooting percentage of the season (51.6%) in the Greater Victoria Invitational against Houston. Over the next two days, however, back-to-back losses against No. 1 Stanford and unranked Green Bay were enough for SU to drop out of the rankings.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMaeva Djaldi-Tabdi sparked Syracuse off the bench during those games, including a season-high 16 points against Stanford, but the Orange couldn’t counter runs against Stanford and foul trouble hurt SU in overtime against the Phoenix.“That was the key to the game, we just gotta continue to play for 40 minutes,” Hillsman said after losing to Stanford. “We can’t play 30 minutes against good teams.”Behind an offense that averaged 77.1 points per game last year, Syracuse was ranked in every AP Poll, marking a return to the rankings for the first time since the final poll in 2017. Hillsman said before the season that the 2019-20 Orange were much better than their preseason No. 21 ranking — possibly his “fastest group” during his 14-year tenure.But through seven games, Syracuse has struggled to match last year’s production despite having a distinct size advantage during its first three nonconference games. SU has only topped its scoring average from 2018-19 once, against the Cougars. And now, the Orange have fallen out of the poll completely, and are tasked with piecing together wins over the latter half of nonconference play and Atlantic Coast Conference games to climb back in.Syracuse next plays against No. 24 Michigan (6-1) on Thursday, when it travels to Ann Arbor for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge at 9 p.m. Comments Published on December 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrewlast_img read more