After a 28-day break due to COVID-19 protocol, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (6-1, 3-1 ACC) returned to the court and dominated Miami (6-5, 3-5 ACC) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday afternoon, 99-64. Freshman Priscilla Williams went 9-9 from the field (6-6 from three) to lead all scorers with a career-high of 26 points. Williams is the second Syracuse player to shoot 100 percent from three (Julie McBride, 2002-03).
Tiana Mangakahia tallied her first double-double of the season with 10 points (4-5) and 10 assists. Emily Engstler also tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kamilla Cardoso (17 pts) and Digna Strautmane (12) also contributed double-digit points for the Orange. As a team, Syracuse tied a program-best 17 three’s and a season-high 28 assists. The 35-point win is the largest margin of victory in an ACC women’s basketball game this season.
Coach Quentin Hillsman reverted to his usual starting line-up for Sunday’s match-up: Mangakahia, Cardoso, Williams, Strautmane, and Kiara Lewis.
Two three’s from Mangakahia kickstarted the Orange scoring attack in the opening minutes of the contest, 9-4. Her second three marked Mangakahia’s 100th career three-pointer. A trey from Engstler put the Orange up by double-digits, 18-8, at the five-minute mark. ‘Cuse ended the opening quarter on a 12-3 run to hold a 32-14 advantage into the second. Despite the three-week break, the Orange shot 76.5 percent from the field and 60 percent from three in their first quarter of competitive basketball since Dec. 20.
Syracuse grew its lead as large as 21 at 8:12 of the second quarter, 37-16 ‘Cuse. Midway through the second, the Orange still held strong to their 15+ point lead, 40-24. A buzzer-beater three from Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi ended the first half with a score of 50-32 ‘Cuse.
As a team, Syracuse shot 60.6 from the field and 52.9 from three in the opening half. In comparison, Miami shot 43.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc. ‘Cuse outrebounded The U 20-12 and outscored them in the paint, 20-14. Cardoso and Williams contributed double-digits in the first half with 11 and 10, respectively. Williams (4-4) and Mangakahia (3-3) were perfect from the field in the first half.
Syracuse grew its lead to 30, 71-41, with a steal and a bucket from Strautmane at 2:22 of the third quarter. ‘Cuse led into the final 10 minutes with a 76-47 score.
The Orange maintained their momentum in the fourth quarter to capture their first win of 2021 by 35, 99-64.
- As a team, ‘Cuse shot 64.4 percent from the field and 56.7 percent from three (17-30). Miami was held to just 40.7 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three (3-11). The Orange out rebounded the Hurricanes 38-22, dished out more assists 28-10, and outscored them in second-chance points 21-7 and points in the paint 40-26.
- In addition to her 17 points (8-9 from the field), Cardoso tallied eight rebounds.
- Lewis contributed nine points and five assists.
- Djaldi-Tabdi tallied six points, two steals, and one block off the bench.
- Kiara Fisher rounded out the scoring for the Orange with eight points.
Positive: Syracuse played its best game of the season despite the month-long break. Every part of this team is positive right now: balanced scoring, assists, rebounds, second-chance points.
Negative: Amaya Finklea-Guity and Taleah Washington did not appear in Sunday’s game. Coach Q stated in the postgame press conference that they are “going through protocol”.
The Orange will play three games over the next seven days. First up, Syracuse will host North Carolina at 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday (ACC Network). The Tar Heels handed the Orange their only loss of the season, 92-68, on Dec. 17.