The No. 23 Syracuse Orange lost to No. 5/3 Mississippi State 76-65 on Thursday, ending its perfect start to the 2017-2018 season.
Mississippi State guards Victoria VIvians and Morgan William each received votes towards the preseason AP All-American team, and the former showed why she deserved that sort of recognition versus the Orange.
Final | 'Cuse falls for the first time this season to No. 5/3 Mississippi State. pic.twitter.com/RqjvqmmoTp— 'Cuse Women's Hoops (@CuseWBB) December 22, 2017
Vivians led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting. She also contributed nine rebounds in a team-high 39 minutes played. Bulldogs center Teaira McCowan contributed a 14 point, 13 rebound double-double. She fouled out after only 24 minutes on the court.
The Orange were led by Gabby Cooper, who posted her second straight 20-point game. Cooper finished with 22 points and was a rebound shy of a double-double. Miranda Drummond played all 40 minutes for Syracuse, and she finished with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
Orange point guard Tiana Mangakakia contributed 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Despite the added scoring effort, the NCAA leader in assists tallied a season-low four dimes and turned the ball over eight times versus the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State out-shot Syracuse, making two more field goals in two more attempts. The Orange finished minus-5 in the turnover margin and minus-2 in the rebound margin.
Syracuse (11-1) will conclude its stay in Sin City on Friday versus 5-5 UNLV. The Runnin’ Rebels are the Orange’s last non-conference opponent on the schedule. ACC conference play starts on December 28 at Notre Dame. Syracuse does not have another home game until January 4, when they host conference foe Georgia Tech.
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Corey Crisan is the Orange Women’s Basketball reporter for TNIAAM. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @cdcrisan for coverage all season long.