Facebook Twitter Google+ Luke Jensen wasn’t satisfied with his players’ efforts. During the break between doubles and singles play, Jensen huddled his players around him and demonstratively instructed them to focus on their matches.“The mind is the biggest thing,” the Syracuse head coach said after the match. “When you’re going into competition, it can be your greatest enemy or your greatest strength.”The Orange took Jensen’s words to heart.Syracuse used a strong effort from its top singles players to dominate its match against Pittsburgh (3-3, 1-1 Big East) on Sunday morning at Drumlins. The win was the fourth straight for Syracuse (4-5, 1-1), and the first of the year in conference play.The top three singles players propelled the Orange, making quick work of their opponents to ensure the 6-1 victory. Sophomore Amanda Rodgers led the way for Syracuse at the No. 1 singles spot for the second time this season, taking a 7-5, 6-2 win over Pittsburgh’s Taylor Washington.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think I just needed to weather the storm a little bit,” Rodgers said. “I played her last year, and I knew I was in for a fight today.”Like Rodgers, both Maddie Kobelt and Jimena Wu didn’t spend much time on the court before getting the win. All three top singles players were the first on the court to finish their matches.“It’s a really good sign that we have a really tough top three or top four,” Jensen said. “We can battle, and we’ve got to be able to battle.”Syracuse earned its fourth straight doubles point on Sunday, taking two of the three matches to jump out to the early lead.Kobelt and Wu each dropped four games en route to their respective victories. Brittany Lashway also stepped up in her second match since recovering from injury. She went on to win 6-3, 6-4.Lashway’s return allowed junior Aleah Marrow to get a breather. She suffered a mild sprain in her foot in the match against Binghamton on Friday.With Syracuse’s win Sunday, the Orange now has four straight wins at home. Syracuse entered the stretch with a record of 0-5.“We’re really big about how this is our house,” Rodgers said. “We don’t lose here.”The win over Pittsburgh comes on the heels of Friday’s victory over Binghamton. Syracuse dominated the Bearcats, not dropping a single set. Both Kobelt and Lashway cruised to 6-0, 6-0 finals.Overall, in the four matches at home this year, Syracuse has lost only three head-to-head matchups.“Drumlins has always been amazing to us. Our crowd has always been amazing to us,” Jensen said. “Look at what we do in other sports. It’s tough to play us here in Syracuse. It’s tough to get up here. It’s tough to live around here. It wears on [our opponents], and I think our athletes feed on that.” Comments Published on February 18, 2013 at 1:24 am Contact Sam: email@example.com | @SamBlum3
Griffin missed a layup on the other end before Nicolas Batum made a pair of free throws to make it 112-109 with 26.5 seconds to go. After Griffin dunked to narrow it again, Damian Lillard made two free throws for Portland.Portland clung to a 114-112 lead with 13.4 seconds left and padded it with Wesley Matthews’ foul shots. Paul missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out.The Blazers were coming off 110-107 victory New Orleans last Saturday.Earlier Thursday, the NBA said its referees made a mistake when they ejected Griffin in the Clippers’ 105-103 loss to the Warriors on Wednesday night.Griffin got his second technical with 10:43 left after scuffling with Andrew Bogut, following Warriors forward Draymond Green to the showers after they got into it at the end of the third. PORTLAND, Ore. — LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers prevailed for a 116-112 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.The Blazers have won seven of their last eight games and they’ve dropped just two games at home this season.But the Clippers, playing the second of a back-to-back, mounted a challenge after trailing by as many as 11 points early in the second half. Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Paul finished with 34 points and 16 assists.Aldridge started for the Blazers even though he was a game-time decision because he had his wisdom teeth pulled. He hit a fadeaway with 39 seconds left in overtime and Portland went ahead 110-109. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him,” Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations.Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the game against the Blazers that he thought Griffin handled the situation well.“Everyone is a target at some point in their career,” Rivers said. “You just have to play through it.”It was the second ejection for the Clippers in as many games. Forward Matt Barnes was ejected with 56 seconds left in the third quarter of a 120-116 OT win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. Barnes fouled Kevin Love.“It’s a long season. We’re in a bad ejection rut right now,” Rivers said. “We’ll get out of it.”Mo Williams made back-to-back 3s to give Portland a 34-22 in the first half. The Clippers responded with a 9-0 run to close to 34-31, but Aldridge scored six straight points in an 8-2 run and Portland stretched the margin to 42-33.Paul’s 3-pointer that closed the Clippers to within 47-46 at the intermission.Portland pulled ahead 61-43 in the third quarter but Aldridge picked up his fourth foul and the Clippers went on an 8-0 run to make it 61-59.Dorell Wright hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers an 84-75 lead early in the fourth quarter.But the Clippers clawed back in, and Paul’s pull-up jumper made it 97-96 for Los Angeles’ first lead of the second half. After Aldridge’s tip-in, Paul added another jumper to give the Clippers a 99-98 lead then nailed a step-back 21-footer from the corner with 9.3 seconds left.Undaunted, Batum hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 101 with 5.3 seconds to go. Paul missed a 17-footer at the jumper to send the game into overtime.Notes: The game was the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Clippers claimed last season’s series 3-1. … The Clippers’ 14 first-quarter points are the fewest they’ve scored in the first quarter. … DeAndre Jordan finished with 19 rebounds before fouling out in overtime. … Barnes also fouled out in OT.