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Syracuse women’s basketball beats Duquesne, 87-71 in St. Pete Shootout

Mangakahia’s near double-double led the team to vitcory.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team improved to 10-2, after an 87-71 win over the Duquesne Dukes in the St. Pete Shootout. A strong defensive performance was the key to victory, as SU turned 25 Duquesne turnovers into 36 points. Almost half of Duqesne’s turnovers were forced by relentless pressure from the Orange, who finished the game with 12 steals.

In a game where Syracuse did not shoot well from three-point range (29%), the Orange made scoring in the paint a point of emphasis. More than half of the team’s 87 points came from inside the paint. SU had a huge advantage in this category, outscoring Duquesne 44-to-18.

Tiana Mangakahia fell one assist shy of her third double-double of the season. She finished Friday’s contest with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds. She came into the game fifth in the nation, averaging 7.6 assists per game and continued to look for her teammates against the Dukes.

Duquesne was led by Julijana Vojinovic and Laia Sole, who both scored 14 points. Kadri-Ann Lass also added 12 points and five rebounds for the Dukes.

Syracuse finished with five players in double-digits. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi scored 15 points and grabbed six boards in 19 minutes for the Orange. Kiara Lewis was very efficient, scoring 12 points, on 5-of-6 shooting from the the field. Gabrielle Cooper, Miranda Drummond and Amaya Finklea-Guity each had 10 points a piece. This is the fifth straight game SU has had at least four players in double figures.

Syracuse plays the UCF Knights on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET in the final game of the St. Pete Shootout. The is the team’s last non-conference game of the season. SU will head back home next, and enjoy a 12-day break before heading to Clemson to start conference play.