Syracuse women’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about Central Connecticut State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Following its first victory over a Power 5 school this season, No. 20 Syracuse (5-3) hosts Central Connecticut State (1-5) Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. After winning its first three games each by at least 18 points, SU had lost three of four. The Orange snapped its slide with a double-digit win against Michigan State on Wednesday, despite a season-low four 3-pointers. CCSU has lost three straight and has only one victory, escaping past Vermont by two-points in overtime.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 2-0Last time they met: Diamond Henderson scored 15 points and then-sophomores Alexis Peterson and Briana Day each scored 11 to lead the Orange past CCSU, 74-43, on Dec. 30, 2014 at the Carrier Dome.The Central Connecticut State report: The Blue Devils won 19 games two years ago, its best season since 2010-11. CCSU won only 12 games last season, with two of its 18 losses coming at Power 5 schools Penn State and then-No. 5 Maryland. The guests lost by 26 and 43, respectively.This year, CCSU returns one starter, senior guard Aleah Epps. The team shoots just 31.2 percent from the field, and only Epps averages more than 10 points per game. Tenth-year head coach Beryl Piper leads the fledgling group.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHow Syracuse beats CCSU: Syracuse has buried inferior opponents, save for an upset loss at Drexel on Nov. 21. At home against nonconference foes, SU is 4-0, including two wins by at least 37 points. The Orange will likely coast past CCSU to a 20-point win on Sunday considering the last time the Blue Devils played a Top 25 team it lost by more than 40.Syracuse is vulnerable in a few areas, which showed in losses to Drexel, Ohio State and DePaul. It has a rebounding margin of -1.5, (221st out of 334 teams) and scoring defenses (264th). SU has taken care of the ball and forced opponent takeaways, though, ranking fourth in turnover margin compared to CCSU’s No. 321 rank. The Orange could force dozens of takeaways, as it did on opening night when it forced a program record 43, and get around 100 points.Peterson, whose 22.8 points per game leads the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Brittney Sykes should have no difficulty sparking an SU offense that has averaged 80 points per game. CCSU, meanwhile, averages just 59.3.Stat to know: 39.6 — Combined points per game for Peterson and Sykes, the second-highest scoring backcourt nationally, as of Friday.Player to watch: Aleah Epps, guard, No. 24Epps, a 5-foot-4 senior, leads the Blue Devils with 14.5 points per game on 40 percent shooting from the field. She’s hitting 3s at a 41.2 percent clip and knocking down free throws at nearly 90 percent. One of two returners entering the season with a positive assist to turnover ratio (1.2), Epps has grabbed 6.8 rebounds per contest. Comments Published on December 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img

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