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Syracuse women’s basketball beats Bucknell, 70-56

SU’s strong performance in fourth quarter seals the victory over Bucknell.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Louisville at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team improved to 3-1, after a 70-56 victory over the Bucknell Bison (2-2) on Sunday. It was a surprisingly close game for much of the contest, until the Orange were able to pull away in the fourth quarter.

Heading into the fourth, Syracuse held a six-point lead. The game was back-and-forth through the first three quarters, with the two teams trading the lead three times each. The biggest lead for Bucknell was only one point, while Syracuse led by as many as 14. SU extended its lead to 14 late in the fourth quarter and that was the final margin of victory.

‘Cuse was able to get to the free throw line and take advantage of those opportunities. The team finished 16-of-21 from the charity strike, while Bucknell was only 7-of-8.

Both teams had trouble keeping possession of the ball, as Bucknell finished with 31 turnovers and Syracuse had 24 of its own. But one area where the Orange had a huge advantage was points off the bench: Syracuse finished with 38 versus 12 from the Bison.

Ellie Mack and Abby Happ led the Bison with 11 points each.

Redshirt Freshman Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi lead the Orange with 19 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Tiana Mangakahia added 13 points and was aggressive on the defense, which led to a team-high four steals.

Syracuse has to feel good about its performance so far this season, after winning three of its first four games. The only loss the team has suffered was a two-point loss on the road against No. 3 Oregon.

The Orange will travel to Cancun, Mexico as they play in the Cancun Challenge this weekend. On Thursday they take on Kansas State. Friday, they face Princeton and they wrap-up the weekend with a matchup against DePaul on Saturday.