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Syracuse women’s basketball struggles in 98-68 loss to Notre Dame

SU couldn’t overcome a poor performance in the second quarter and lose big to Notre Dame

Syracuse Athletics

Inconsistent shooting and troubles on defense led to a 98-68 loss for the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team against the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Monday night.

Notre Dame was in complete control for a majority of the game, though Syracuse had the lead for a combined 1 minute and four seconds. SU had an 18-17 lead with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter, but 17 seconds later, Notre Dame regained the lead and would never trailed again.

At the end of the first quarter, the game was pretty even and Notre Dame had a 24-19 lead. Things got away from SU in the second quarter. Notre Dame outscored Syracuse 22-8 in the second and built a 46-27 point lead headed into halftime. Syracuse was only 3-of-13 from the field in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, SU showed more fight, but it wasn’t enough. Every time Syracuse went on a run, the Irish would answer with a run of their own. The Irish continued to find the sweet spots in the Syracuse zone and seemingly found the open teammate every time. At the end of the third quarter, Notre Dame extended its 19 point halftime lead to 22.

Syracuse was outscored 29-21 in the final quarter and lost 98-68 in the last home game of the season.

“We’re very disappointed in the outcome,” said head coach Quentin Hillsman. “This is game were you have an opportunity to on your home floor and beat a very good team and we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.”

Ogunbowale led the Irish with 24 points, 16 coming in the second half and made her presence felt on the defensive end as well. She finished with a team-high four steals and was playing the passing lanes in the Notre Dame zone defense.

Brianna Turner was efficient in the paint for Notre Dame; she scored 22 points, going 9-of-12 from the field.

“I thought we did a really good job particularly in the first half of looking inside,” said Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw. “We were trying to find Brianna Turner and we ended up going to her quite often and I thought that was effective.”

The Irish had 29 assists on 38 made field goals, really attacking the Syracuse zone defense. Notre Dame’s Jackie Young was getting all of her teammates involved and finished with a team-high 12 assists to go along with 10 points.

Notre Dame dominated down low. They had scored 60 of their 98 points in the paint. Syracuse has struggled with teams who have good post-players, like Notre Dame, NC State, Boston College.

Tiana Mangakahia was held scoreless (0-for-1) in the first half and was in foul trouble early with two quick whistles. Still, she finished with a team-high 17 points, all coming in the second half. The early foul trouble limited her opportunities to attack.

In the first half I was in a little bit of foul trouble so I couldn’t be as aggressive as I wanted to be,” Mangakahia said.

Miranda Drummond was second on the team with 14 points, 12 coming from three-point range. The other two players in double-digits for for the Orange were Digna Strautmane and Maeva Djali-Tabdi, each scoring 10 points.

Syracuse missed many opportunities right at the basket. Those missed shots allowed Notre Dame to play against a defense that wasn’t set and they exploited many of those opportunities.

Hillsman said despite the loss, he still believes in his team.

Syracuse will look to bounce back in its next game when they travel to Tallahassee to play Florida State, another top-25 opponent for the Orange. The game is on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. ET.