Paschal Chukwu’s career day comes on the boards in 68-61 loss at No. 3 Virginia

first_img Published on January 10, 2018 at 5:22 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Paschal Chukwu sat under the stanchion, his right leg resting on the ground while he grimaced and held his left in the air. The injury seemed to cast a large shadow on Chukwu’s career night.Seconds before, Syracuse freshman forward Oshae Brissett had received a pass in the left high post and Chukwu, on the opposite high post, ran over to set a screen on De’Andre Hunter, Brissett’s defender. Chukwu briefly set it and then, as Brissett dribbled by, he tried to slip by Hunter toward the basket, but Hunter’s left knee knocked Chukwu’s right and the big man immediately hopped away from the play on his right foot.Syracuse’s star guard Tyus Battle drove into the lane and hit a turnaround jumper, but by then Chukwu had laid down, flipped his goggles up over his headband and tried but failed to get up. The trainer helped him off the court and talked to him extensively on the bench and, suddenly, three minutes later he was back on the floor, doing what he had done all night with a putback lay-in after a Battle missed 3.“After the last game, Coach (Jim Boeheim) really got on us about (rebounding), trying to go harder after every rebound,” Chukwu said, referencing Syracuse’s 42-to-27 rebounding disadvantage in its Jan. 6 loss to Notre Dame. “I was fortunate enough to grab them today.”Syracuse’s redshirt junior center nabbed a career-high 16 boards and scored nine points in Syracuse’s (12-5, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) 68-61 loss to No. 3 Virginia (15-1, 4-0) on Tuesday night at John Paul Jones Arena. All four of Chukwu’s baskets came off one of his 10 offensive rebounds. He hit one of his two free throws while adding two blocks and an assist. Syracuse’s inability to close the gap enough to press and Frank Howard’s streaky shooting ultimately doomed the Orange, but Chukwu’s presence on the boards allowed SU to hang around for as long as it did.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textVirginia head coach Tony Bennett said he prepared differently for Chukwu because at 7-foot-2 he’s so much larger than most centers in the ACC. The Cavaliers attempted 27 triples on Tuesday, which is more than its season average of 20 per game. But Bennett said he didn’t mind because it opened up the high post and they were well-rotated possessions and “good looks.”When asked if Chukwu’s presence influenced that increase, Bennett listed Chukwu’s stats and said, “You know you’re going to have to get quality shots from elsewhere (than inside). … You can’t muscle through that guy. There’s not a lot of good stuff happening when you challenge him at the rim.”Bennett also attacked the Orange’s 2-3 zone by trying to stretch Chukwu thin. With shooters on the perimeter forcing Syracuse to play up on the wings, UVA ran redshirt freshman forward De’Andre Hunter to the high post and passed to him. Twice, he turned and lofted a jumper over a late-to-rotate Chukwu, who had been busy accounting for both Hunter and the ball in the corner. Hunter hit a few jump shots en route to 13 first-half points, which would be tied for his third-highest output in a game this season.Chukwu soon learned, though, that Bennett wouldn’t fall into a pattern in the second half. The Cavaliers sent guard Ty Jerome and forward Isaiah Wilkins to the high post to switch up looks.“Sometimes they had a passer or a shooter (at the high post) to make the defense think about the decision,” Chukwu said. “That’s what they did today. Coach (Boeheim) got on me because whenever (Hunter) comes up, he’s just trying to shoot it. And Coach really told me about it and be really aware of that and see who can really make that shot or if he’s there just to pass.”Chukwu’s effectiveness shone after a player shot from the high post, though, because then the center went to the defensive glass and did what he does best for Syracuse.last_img read more

Alvarez’s six RBIs power Pirates past Indians

first_imgCLEVELAND (AP)—Pedro Alvarez had one of his best games yet. Still, it was a win by the Pittsburgh Pirates that had him really excited. Alvarez drove in a career-high six runs with his second two-homer game in two days, powering Pittsburgh past the Cleveland Indians 9-5 Sunday. IMPRESSIVE POWER DISPLAY—Pedro Alvarez watches his ball after hitting a three-run home run off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Esmil Rogers in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 1, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) “I’m just glad to help us win the series,” Alvarez said as music blared in the clubhouse following the Pirates’ second victory in three games, giving them a sixth series win in their last seven matchups.Alvarez seemed unfazed by his own accomplishment — hitting three-run homers in the fourth and fifth innings for his fourth career multihomer game. He also doubled, for his first game of three extra-base hits.His previous two multihomer games also came in consecutive games, July 20-21 against Milwaukee.“It’s just coincidence,” Alvarez said of homering twice in consecutive games once again.Manager Clint Hurdle said Alvarez has worked hard to lift his average to .207 with a team-high 12 homers and 34 RBIs, three behind team leader Andrew McCutchen. Alvarez has 10 RBIs in four games after going 10 games without any.“He’s worked hard to get to a better place,” Hurdle said. “He drove one ball to right, then took advantage of a mistake and hit another. He had a very good day at the plate.”Tony Watson (4-0), the second of five Pirates pitchers, worked 1 2-3 innings of relief for the win.Pittsburgh scored nine runs for the second straight game after totaling 13 runs during a four-game losing streak.Alvarez became the first Pirates player with six RBIs in a game since Andy LaRoche did it Sept. 28, 2009, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Alvarez put the Pirates up 3-2 in the fourth. His line drive into the right field seats came after Cabrera fielded a two-out grounder by Casey McGehee, but threw it away.Alvarez hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right for his 12th homer and 9-4 lead.Pittsburgh won a series for only the second time in their last 21 road interleague matchups.last_img read more