Dougherty: Gutsy Cooney lifts Syracuse past No. 9 Notre Dame for statement victory

first_imgSOUTH BEND, Ind. — After 34:42 of game time, it finally happened.After avoiding drivers for the entire second half and tentatively contesting shots, Rakeem Christmas got a little too close to Bonzie Colson. The Notre Dame crowd erupted as if Christmas’ fifth foul decided the game right then and there, even with Syracuse up eight points and plenty of basketball to play.And if it weren’t for Trevor Cooney, it probably would have.As Christmas walked to the bench, the Fighting Irish student section yelled “Left! Right!” every time his shoes touched the floor. During an SU timeout, Michael Gbinije called over Cooney and told him that without Christmas, the pair would have to put the finishing touches on a win the Orange has coveted all season.Cooney listened. Then he delivered.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNine of the junior’s 11 points came down the stretch and were the difference maker in SU’s (18-10, 9-6 Atlantic Coast) 65-60 victory over No. 9 Notre Dame (24-5, 12-4) at Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday night. With no postseason to play for, the Orange rode the sprained back of its wounded sharpshooter to its most impressive win of the season in front of 9,149 shocked fans.It was a result capable of pushing Syracuse into the NCAA Tournament bubble, provided by the mercurial Cooney — who blocked out the pain and countered his recent shooting drought with the gutsiest individual performance of SU’s season.“I thought it was amazing,” SU assistant coach Mike Hopkins said. “… He’s one of the toughest guys ever, to ever play here. You get those opportunities and you take them. Shooters believe in themselves.”By the end of the first half, it was as if Syracuse and Notre Dame were fighting to be the oddest team on the court.Without Cooney, Christmas or Gbinije on the court, the Orange ran its offense through B.J. Johnson — who finished with a game-high 19 points — and the Fighting Irish shot an uncharacteristic 2-of-13 from 3 to send Syracuse into halftime with a 27-22 lead.Then out of the break, UND shifted its offensive approach to attack the rim and get Christmas out of the game. It was unsuccessful for most of the half, but Christmas’ final walk to the bench at the 5:18 mark of the second half spurred a small run that drew the Fighting Irish within four points of the reeling Orange.“We just made some mistakes but we kept battling,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said of Christmas fouling out. “We kept fighting and in the end we just wanted to use as much of clock as we could and then get the ball to (Gbinije) or (Cooney).”And twice, Syracuse milked the shot clock to the last few seconds before Cooney kept his team moving.At the end of a broken possession, Cooney found himself double-teamed in the corner but drained a fadeaway prayer. Two minutes later, Cooney sized up Steve Vasturia and hit a 3 in the guard’s face before turning, clenching both fists and screaming in celebration. It was his only make of six attempts from deep but it bumped the Orange’s lead to five at a critical moment.Finally, Cooney rushed down the court on the next possession and finished a layup to all but seal the win.“Once you’re in the heat of the game and everything it goes away,” Cooney said while beckoning to his back. “Especially when you win, you don’t really feel it.”When the game seemed lost as Christmas exited the court, Cooney gathered the pieces and willed Syracuse to its first win over a Top 10 team this season. In doing so, he buried his 4-for-23 3-point shooting stretch in the Orange’s last three games. And with it all — a performance that dragged at first before hitting warped speed — he showed that he and his team is going to make Syracuse’s absence from the postseason a decision by the university.Not a product of the team’s play.“There’s a lot of pride on the line here. We’re playing for a lot more than just trophies and medals, really,” Cooney said. “We’re playing for each other and we’re playing for everybody else before us. That’s what we’re really doing now.“And as you can tell we’re not giving up.”Jesse Dougherty is a staff writer for The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @dougherty_jesse. Comments Published on February 25, 2015 at 12:09 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

San Miguel, Kia change imports

first_imgWendell McKines. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAmid a subpar PBA Governors’ Cup showing so far, grand Slam-seeking San Miguel has changed its import, flying in Terik Bridgeman for Wendell McKines.The 6-foot-5 Bridgeman is a product of William Paterson University who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft.ADVERTISEMENT San Miguel wasn’t the lone team who has made moves midway this season-ending conference, with winless Kia also replacing Markeith Cummings with Geron Johnson.The 25-year-old Johnson is fresh from his stint in Lebanon with Louaize, where he averaged 24.19 points, 8.65 rebounds, 6.19 assists, 2.85 steals, and 1.04 blocks.The Picanto have yet to taste a victory in the season-ending conference despite Cummings’ best efforts, netting 26.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in the seven games he played.ADVERTISEMENT National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LATEST STORIES Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies PH needs to ‘continue to get better’ as rest of Southeast Asia catches up He recently wrapped up his stint with BC Cactus Tbilisi in Georgia, where he averaged 11.89 points, 8.46 rebounds, 1.36 assists, 1.39 blocks, and 1.32 steals.Bridgeman will take over for McKines, who had a decent showing for the Beermen but could not help the team from losing two of their last three games, including 100-103 defeat to NLEX last Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“We decided to take a different direction in consideration of our current team composition and health status. We welcome Mr. Bridgeman and hope that he could provide the things we need in order for us to be successful in this conference,” said San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla in a text message to averaged 26.2 markers, 14.2 boards, 4.4 dimes, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals in his five games for the Beermen. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more


first_imgMairtin has loads of sproutsBREAKING NEWS: The country seems to have run out of sprouts for Christmas – except at Kelly’s Centra at Mountain Top!While most of the major supermarkets have run out of stock, Mairtin Kelly is keen to stress there are loads of them still left at his Letterkenny store.“Sure Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without them,” laughed Mairtin. “We’ve had a lot of people in today; one of our busiest Christmas Eve’s in a long time and almost everyone has been heading for the vegetable section to get their fresh sprouts for dinner tomorrow.” BREAKING NEWS: LOADS OF SPROUTS LEFT AT KELLY’S CENTRA MOUNTAIN TOP was last modified: December 24th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CHristmassprotssproutslast_img read more