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No. 20 Syracuse women’s basketball defeats Miami on the road, 69-58

Kamilla Cardoso and Tiana Mangakahia led all scorers with 14 points each. Mangakahia exited the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent lower-body injury.

Kamilla Cardoso rebounds
12.6.20 | Kamilla Cardoso rebounds. Photo by Michael J. Okoniewski
Photo by Michael J. Okoniewski

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (4-0, 1-0) defeated Miami, 69-58, on the road Thursday night. The win marked the Orange’s first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season. Syracuse averages a 20.8 margin of victory this season.

Coach Quentin Hillsman stuck with the same starting five for the third game in a row: Tiana Mangakahia, Kiara Lewis, Priscilla Williams, Digna Strautmane, and Kamilla Cardoso.

The Orange kickstarted their offense early with an 11-3 lead at 7:38 of the first quarter. Miami quickly answered Syracuse’s fast start, going on a 12-3 run to gain a one-point advantage at the three-minute mark, 15-14 ‘Canes. Both teams traded shots to end the quarter, with Syracuse able to take the lead into the second quarter, 23-19. Mangakahia had six of the team’s nine turnovers in the first 10 minutes.

Syracuse gained a double-digit lead in the opening minutes of the second with a layup from Amaya Finklea-Guity, 31-21 ‘Cuse. The Hurricanes made it a two-possession game with under two minutes to play in the half, but the Orange grew their advantage 42-34 into the break. Mangakahia did not play in the second quarter.

Cardoso led all scorers with 12 points (10 in the first quarter), seven rebounds, and two steals in the opening half. Strautmane tallied nine points and five rebounds, while Williams added eight points in the first 20 minutes.

Mangakahia started and scored the Orange’s first points of the second half. ‘Cuse gained its largest lead of the game at 4:36, 51-38, and continued to hold their advantage into the final quarter with a 54-45 score.

Syracuse controlled the pace of the final quarter, growing their lead as high as 17. In the closing minutes of the contest, Mangakahia limped off the court with an apparent lower-body issue. However, it’s been reported by Mike McAllister that the injury is not considered serious.

Mangakahia and Cardoso led all scorers with 14 points each. All of Mangakahia’s points came in the second half. The Australian native also added seven assists and three steals. Cardoso added eight rebounds to her game-high points.

Strautmane had a near double-double with 11 rebounds and nine points off 3 three-pointers.

Lewis played 39 minutes, contributing seven points, six rebounds, and six assists. Williams added eight points and two rebounds.

Off the bench, Emily Engstler tallied nine rebounds, seven points, and two blocks. Finklea-Guity added six points, three rebounds, and two blocks.

Taleah Washington (3 points) and Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi (1) rounded out the scoring for Syracuse.

The Orange dominated in the paint, outscoring the Canes 34-16. Both teams struggled with turnovers, with Syracuse committing 21 and Miami committing 20. ‘Cuse shot 37.7 percent from the field, compared to the ‘Canes 29.2 percent. The Orange struggled from the free throw line, making just 52.9 percent of their shots.

Positive: The Orange’s depth and size really showed tonight. ‘Cuse outrebounded the ‘Canes 50-42, with four Syracuse players tallying over five rebounds in the game.

Negative: I was going to talk about turnovers, but the seriousness of Mangakahia’s injury is more important. Even if it’s not a long-term absence, not having her in the lineup creates its own challenges.

Syracuse will return to the Carrier Dome Sunday for a meeting with New York-foe the Binghamton Bears. The game was originally set to tip-off at 2 p.m., but was picked up by the ACC Network and will now tip-off at 6 p.m. EST. Roy Philpot and Brooke Weisbrod will be on the call.