Cornelia Fondren records program’s 1st triple-double since 1984 in 97-48 win over Howard

first_img Related Stories Why Syracuse made 65 substitutions in blowout win against HowardCornelia Fondren thrives in multiple spots for Syracuse using toughness and versatility Cornelia Fondren unfurled the tape from her fingers as she left the court. Her facial expression was blank while she walked slowly. Her body language didn’t show the typical emotion that would go along with accomplishing something for the first time in 31 years.Assistant coach Tammi Reiss slapped her on the butt with her notebook and congratulated Fondren before turning to the person next to her and explaining. It wasn’t until moments later, in the locker room, that Fondren found out how historic her game was.For the first time since 1984, a Syracuse player recorded a triple-double. Fondren finished with 12 points, 10 steals and 10 rebounds — compared to her previous season averages of 5.5 points, 2.6 steals and 5.8 rebounds — off the bench in Syracuse’s (9-3) dominant 97-48 win over Howard (2-12, 1-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome.“I was thinking, ‘This is her,’” Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “She’s a very aggressive player and her capacity to change the game really was just, with the way she plays, is just what she’s really good at”Fondren was recruited to play point guard, but due to SU’s lack of frontcourt depth and her versatility, she’s played every position except center this season. A minute and a half into the game, Hillsman subbed out his entire starting lineup and because of who went in, Fondren returned to her natural position, which she hasn’t played much of recently.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThree seconds after being subbed in, Fondren got her first of seven offensive rebounds.“Technically, I’m really supposed to get back (on defense), but I don’t want to get back. I want to rebound,” Fondren said of playing point guard. “… It’s no different from when you’re playing the four, the two or three. Just crash and go get the rebound.”With four minutes until halftime, a Brianna Butler 3 hit off the rim and toward the 5-foot-8 Fondren, who was positioned in between Howard’s 5-foot-4 Allese Morrison and 5-foot-9 Hannah Timmons.She reached over them and came down with it. She took one power dribble and bumped her body into the chest of Timmons, creating space to make a layup while drawing a foul.Fondren missed the free throw, but her four rebounds, six points and seven steals in 12 first-half minutes already put a stamp on the game.“She did everything that we talk about every day, which is rebound the basketball, extend our pressure and turn people over,” Hillsman said. “So I think in both those areas, she was remarkable.”Fondren was often the one pushing the ball in transition at point guard. She also crashed the offensive glass with her deceptive strength whenever one of SU’s 57 misses became a jump ball.After scoring mostly on layups, she’d stay near the hoop, manning the top of the Orange’s press and collect a steal with her quick hands. On Wednesday night, it became routine.“She was stealing the ball like a thief,” guard Brittney Sykes said laughing. “Every time you turned around, she was on the floor, she was hustling.”Fondren hadn’t realized how many stats she compiled in the first three quarters but Hillsman and her teammates informed her.“Everybody was like you have to get another rebound, you have to get another steal. I’m like, ‘OK, OK,’” Fondren said after the game, while sighing heavily to imitate how she reacted to her teammates.Fondren’s final rebound came the same way so many of her others did. Guard Abby Grant’s layup hit off the rim. Fondren ran from behind the arc, into the paint and in between two Howard players. Still, she came down with the ball in the middle of the scrum. Jumping before, and above, her opponents is how she did it.Fondren was one of the first players Reiss noticed this preseason in her first season with the Orange, because of her tenacity on the offensive glass. Fondren’s performance against Howard didn’t surprise anyone and her postgame expressions reflected that.“Corn is more than capable to do this every night if she wanted to,” Sykes said.But for the first time in 31 years, a Syracuse player actually did. Comments Published on December 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img