The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, 70-61 in its first game of the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mex. A strong performance on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter led the Orange to victory.
Syracuse led for a majority of the game, until Kansas State was able to force SU into multiple turnovers and take a 48-46 lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, the Orange increased the defensive intensity, which led to easy buckets on the other end. SU forced four turnovers, which lead to six fast break points.
Syracuse shot 10-16 (62.5%) from the field in the final period.
Tiana Mangahakia led SU with 18 points, six assists and four steals. Her full-court pressure helped the team force turnovers, and they were able to take the lead with eight minutes left and never looked back.
The Wildcats were led by Peyton Williams, who had 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Williams was one of five players to score in double digits for Kansas State.
Each team had 32 rebounds, but Syracuse won the battle inside the paint, 36-22. SU also was able to get more production off the bench. The Orange had 26 bench points, compared to 12 from the Wildcats.
Both teams struggled to keep possession of the ball. Syracuse had 21 turnovers and Kansas State had 19. Syracuse had 21 points off of turnovers and Kansas State had 20. SU was able to take advantage of those turnovers, scoring 14 points fast break points, to just six from KSU.
The Orange (4-1) will look to extend its three-game winning streak as it takes on the Princeton Tigers tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. ET. This is the team’s second of three games (in three days) in the Cancun Challenge.