Day & Time: Thursday, January 28 at 6 p.m. EST
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Opponent Blog: Cardiac Hill
Rivalry: Syracuse leads 45-19
Current Streak: Syracuse has won the last 18 match-ups
Teams Last Meeting: The Orange defeated the Panthers, 71-53, at the Carrier Dome in February 2020. Lewis led the team with 18 points and nine rebounds.
- Kamilla Cardoso was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week. Cardoso averaged a double-double over ‘Cuse’s last three-game stretch with 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per contest.
- For the first time this season, the Orange were not ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll or the USA TODAY/WBCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Syracuse received votes in both polls (27/45).
- ‘Cuse is tied for fifth in the conference standings with Florida State.
- Freshman Kamilla Cardoso leads the team with 14.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. Emily Engstler is making a name for herself as ACC Sixth Player of the Year, averaging a double-double this season with 11.1 rebounds and 10.1 points per contest off the bench. Kiara Lewis (14.4), Tiana Mangakahia (10.6), and Priscilla Williams (10) are also contributing double-digit scoring for ‘Cuse this season.
- The Orange rank in the top-5 of the ACC in blocked shots per game (1st), steals per game (2nd), total blocks (3rd), field goal % defense (3rd), rebounds per game (4th), offensive rebounds per game (4th), assists per game (4th), scoring offense (4th), 3-pts per game (4th), turnovers forced (4th), scoring margin (5th), and win-loss percentage (5th). The team ranks top-15 nationally in blocked shots per game (3rd), total blocks (15th), and rebounds per game (15th).
- Nationally, Mangakahia ranks second in assists per game and 13th in total assists, Cardoso ranks 10th in field goal %, and Engstler ranks 14th in defensive rebounds per game. In the conference, Mangakahia ranks first in assists per game and total assists, Cardoso ranks first in blocked shots per game, second in field goal %, and third in blocked shots, Engstler ranks third in defensive rebounds per game and fourth in rebounds per game, Williams ranks fourth in 3-pt field goal %, and Lewis ranks fourth in minutes played per game.
- Priscilla Williams was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week on Jan. 18. Williams went 9-9 from the field (6-6 from three) to lead all scorers with a career-high of 26 points in Sunday’s win over Miami.
- Erica Morrow, a 2011 ‘Cuse graduate, has rejoined head coach Quentin Hillsman in Central New York as an assistant coach.
- On December 2nd, 2020, the Syracuse Athletics staff were able to adjust and achieve a live basketball game despite a location change in under 60 minutes. This is their story.
- The NCAA announced the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be held in one geographic area and is in preliminary talks with the city of San Antonio, Texas. The NCAA also announced the tournament will have a 64-team bracket, the .500 rule will be waived, and an eligibility waiver will be available for teams that do not reach a minimum of 13 games.
Syracuse’s Last Game: The Orange suffered their second straight loss of the season in overtime at Clemson on Sunday, 77-86. Syracuse overcame a 25-point deficit at halftime to force the extra minutes. Kiara Lewis led all scorers with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Emily Engstler tallied 17 points (8-11) and nine rebounds. Kamilla Cardoso also contributed 12 points and six blocks, while Priscilla Williams added 10 points.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (15th year, 311-163) | Pittsburgh - Lance White (3rd year, 20-50)
Opponent Coach Bio: White is in his third season as the head coach of Pittsburgh. He previously spent 15 years at Florida State where he led the Seminoles to a 350-145 record, including 12 20+ win seasons. He also spent over a decade at Texas Tech.
Opponent’s Last Game: Pittsburgh defeated Clemson on the road, 79-69. Liatu King and Destiny Strother led the Panthers with 15 points each.
Opponent Players to Watch: Jayla Everett and Dayshanette Harris lead Pitt with 16.5 and 13.8 points per game, respectively.
If Syracuse Wins: A win would help the Orange get back on their feet.
If Syracuse Loses: Three straight conference losses may alarm the panic button. As I said last week, Syracuse still has to play the top four teams in the conference: NC State, Notre Dame (twice), Georgia Tech, and Louisville again. They cannot afford another loss to a lower-tier conference team.