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

Lindsay Eastwood juggles 2 jobs, plays in the NWHL

first_img Comments Published on August 24, 2020 at 10:08 pm Contact Gaurav: [email protected] The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.As the Tampa Bay Lighting and Columbus Blue Jackets played out the fourth-longest game in NHL history, a former Syracuse ice hockey player watched the drama unfold live. Lindsay Eastwood was glued to her seat in the rafters of Scotiabank Arena as she worked to describe the action to her colleagues at the Tampa Bay Times.“(The Lightning) kept on missing the net or shots were blocked and I just thought they’re never gonna score and I don’t think Columbus is gonna score and (Joonas) Korpisalo is lights out so this game is never gonna end,” Eastwood said laughing. The five-OT game and Eastwood’s Tampa Bay Times stint are the beginning of her next steps, following a record-breaking career for SU’s women’s ice hockey team this past season. She was named the College Hockey America conference’s best defender and also broke the career goals record by a Syracuse defender with 23.Over the summer, Eastwood signed a deal with the Toronto Six in the NWHL. The Six will begin their season as the first Canadian team in the NWHL and also the only Canadian professional women’s sports team. However, with the NWHL season postponed due to COVID-19, Eastwood has been interning with the Six and freelancing for the Tampa Bay Times.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEastwood said balancing her work with her playing career has been similar to being an athlete at Syracuse. She still wakes up early in the morning to go workout. After that she either goes to the rink for practice or does work for her media positions during the day. It’s Eastwood’s work ethic and time management that convinced team President Digit Murphy to offer her a contract.“She was very engaged and passionate and inspiring,” Murphy said. “Those are the kids that, I believe, have the secret sauce to take a team to another level.” With the Six, Eastwood has been producing content for the team’s YouTube channel by interviewing teammates and staff, in addition to helping expand the Toronto Six’s social media presence as the team enters its inaugural season. In the meantime, Eastwood is also freelancing for the Tampa Bay Times. She received the opportunity through a teammate whose cousin works for the publication. Because COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented regular Tampa Bay writers from traveling to Canada, Eastwood was able to stay in the NHL bubble as a correspondent and help with the early rounds of the playoffs. “I’m not necessarily a writer, but I do contribute to some of their writing,” Eastwood said. “I’m more their eyes and ears on the ground at the game.”Going into the bubble, Eastwood has her temperature checked every time she walks into Scotiabank arena and is given her own section in the 300 level of the stadium. Without fans, Eastwood said she can hear the players communicating with teammates, saying things like “one on, one on” or “in deep,” even though she’d rather hear the “trash talk.”Eastwood also met Jackie Redmond, an anchor for the NHL network and someone that Eastwood aspires to be like once her playing career is over. They talked while Redmond was preparing for her postgame show after the five-OT game. While Eastwood looks up to Redmond as a woman in sports media, Eastwood also understands the importance of playing for the only professional women’s sports team in Canada.“It’s pretty cool and gives little girls something to see and strive for,” Eastwood said. “In Canada we love our hockey so it’s awesome and we’ve been welcomed very nicely and very warmly in the city of Toronto. I’m excited to play some hockey here and also grow the game of women’s hockey and women’s sports.”While Eastwood continues to balance her three positions, the start of the NWHL season inches closer with team practices starting in October and the season kicking off in January 2021. Even though practices are currently optional, Eastwood has only missed one practice while juggling all of her responsibilities.“Winners just get it done,” Murphy said. “So to me, she’s perfect for the Six.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more