In the ACC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team suffered a 91-66 loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. ND’s transition offense and inconsistent shooting from Syracuse played a big part in the win, though it was closer than last month’s 30-point loss at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse came out strong at the beginning of the game, taking a 13-9 lead with 6:08 remaining in the first quarter. They were hitting three-pointers and looked like they could continue the hot streak from their ACC Tournament record 14 three-pointers made in the quarterfinals versus Miami.
Immediately after, the Irish would go on an 8-0 lead to take a 17-13 lead.
Notre Dame would extend its lead to 12 the end of the quarter and the outcome began to look similar to the last meeting between these two teams on Feb 25. The second quarter was played evenly, Notre Dame outscored Syracuse 13-12 and took a 44-31 lead into halftime.
The second half was all Notre Dame and Syracuse was playing catch up the entire time. Syracuse kept fighting, but it just wasn’t enough, as the Irish continued to extend the lead.
All five Notre Dame starters scored in double-digits, led by 18 points and 13 rebounds from Jackie Young. Young has proven that she might be the most versatile player for the Irish on both sides of the ball. Marina Mabrey and Jessica Shepard each had 16 points, with Shepard recording a double-double as well. She added 12 rebounds to go along with her 16 points.
It was a tough day for Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia. She finished 5-of-16 from the field, including 0-of-3 from three-point range. Despite her struggles she led the team with 14 points and six assists. Unfortunately, she also had trouble retaining possession of the ball and finished with a game-high seven turnovers.
The other Syracuse players to score in double-digits were Gabrielle Cooper with 12 and Miranda Drummond with 10.
Syracuse has made its case to be a top-4 seed in the NCAA tournament and thanks to some chaos that took place during conference tournament week, Syracuse could be as high as a #3 seed. Whether Syracuse is a 3 or 4 seed, they will host first and second round games in the Carrier Dome.
The NCAA tournament selection show is Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. ET.