The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team was looking for its first ACC win entering Thursday. They earned it following a historic night from its starting point guard in an 88-77 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
First ACC win ✅— 'Cuse Women's Hoops (@CuseWBB) January 5, 2018
40-point scorer ✅
Keep. It. Rolling. pic.twitter.com/n2A9XEOUhL
Tiana Mangakahia set a personal record, broke a program record, and came close to breaking another program record on Thursday. Mangakahia’s 44 points are the second-most scored by a basketball player in a single game at the Carrier Dome -- including both men’s and women’s basketball. Mangakahia did most of her damage in the second half. She scored 29 points past the game’s midpoint.
The most points scored in Carrier Dome history were from the hands of Alexis Peterson last season. She totaled 45 versus NC State almost one year ago to the date. Now, two recent, prominent ‘Cuse women’s basketball players are at the top of the Carrier Dome scoring records.
Mangakahia set a new program record for free throws made on Thursday. She drained 20-of-21 from the charity stripe. The previous record was 15 free throws made - a mark held by Iasia Hemingway on January 7, 2012 versus Pittsburgh.
In addition to Mangakahia’s 44 and 8 assists, Miranda Drummond contributed 13 points and Gabby Cooper added 11. Jasmine Nwajei also contributed eight points off the bench.
Georgia Tech started off strong and the game was close throughout the first half. The Yellow Jackets held a 19-8 lead through the game’s first seven minutes. Tech also massively outscored Syracuse from the bench, 38-12. This included 24 points from Tech reserve Zaire O’Neil.
But Syracuse carried a 40-38 lead into the second half and never looked back, mostly thanks to Mangakahia’s scoring explosion. In totality, Georgia Tech and Syracuse matched field goals made (27) and Georgia Tech made one more three-pointer.
The Orange’s bread and butter was at the free throw line, though. ‘Cuse shot a solid 87.5 percent (28-for-32) which included Mangakahia’s aforementioned 20-of-21 free throws made.
Syracuse (13-3, 1-2) will stay home for the weekend as they welcome in No. 11/12 Florida State on Sunday at the Carrier Dome. Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
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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.