The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (8-3, 5-3 ACC) dominated the fourth quarter to declaw the Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5, 2-4 ACC) on Thursday night, 80-57. The Orange outscored the Panthers 27-12 in the final 10 minutes of the contest. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi led all scorers with a season-high 17 points, 7-8 shooting, off the bench.
Four other Orange players tallied double-figure scoring, including Emily Engstler (12), Kiara Lewis (12), Kamilla Cardoso (11), and Priscilla Williams (11). Engstler’s 12 points with 13 rebounds marked her fifth double-double of the season.
Tiana Mangakahia, Kiara Lewis, Priscilla Williams, Digna Strautmane, and ACC Freshman of the Week Kamilla Cardoso started for Syracuse.
The Orange opened the match-up on a clean 17-0 run through the first four minutes of the game. Taleah Washington, who played in her first game since Dec. 20, scored a trey at 5:51 to give ‘Cuse a 20-5 advantage. Syracuse continued its domination through the quarter to lead 26-15 after the first 10 minutes. Seven Orange players scored in the opening frame. The team shot 58.8 percent from the field and 4-8 from three.
Both teams brought their defensive A games in the second quarter. A four-minute scoreless period was ended with a free throw from Cardoso to put the Orange up 32-18 at 4:40. Syracuse was 1-6 from the field in the first five minutes of the quarter, while Pitt was 1-10. Amaya Finklea-Guity, who was also on the court for the first time since December, scored her first bucket of the contest to propel ‘Cuse to the 40-point mark. The Orange led 41-26 at halftime.
Syracuse shot 50 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three, compared to Pitt’s 32.3 percent and 22.2 percent in the opening half. The Orange committed seven turnovers and outrebounded the Panthers 21-18. Lewis and Cardoso led the team with seven points each in the first half. Williams, Washington, and Djaldi-Tabdi also tallied six points each. Emily Engstler contributed six rebounds in the first half, while Strautmane tallied four assists.
A 6-0 Panther run opened the second half of play, cutting the Orange advantage to nine, 41-32 at 7:29. A three from Djaldi-Tabdi put Syracuse back up by double-digits, 44-32 at the six-minute mark. Pitt began to crawl back at the end of third, entering the final quarter with just an eight-point Syracuse advantage, 53-45. The Panthers outscored the Orange 19-12 and held ‘Cuse to 25 percent shooting in the third.
The Panthers and Orange traded shots to open the fourth quarter. Another trey from Djaldi-Tabdi gave Syracuse a 60-51 advantage at 5:35. Syracuse’s offense exploded in the final five minutes, going on a 22-0 run to lead 77-55 at 0:56. A three from Engstler sealed the victory for the Orange, 80-57. ‘Cuse outscored Pitt 27-12 in the final 10 minutes off 60 percent shooting from the field.
: Highlight's from today's win over Pitt pic.twitter.com/gw2vxj7p6J— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) January 29, 2021
- Syracuse shot 46.6 percent from the field and 12-29 from three. Pitt shot 32.8 percent from the floor and 3-17 from three. The Orange outrebounded the Panthers 43-38 (31-22 defensive rebounds) and outscored them in bench points (37-19) and points off turnovers (17-10). The Orange forced 15 Panther turnovers and committed 14 themselves. The team also recorded 12 steals and seven blocks.
- Engstler surpassed the 500 career rebounds and 100 career blocks. She also added three steals, three blocks, and three assists in the win.
- Cardoso tallied eight rebounds and four blocks. She shot 4-5 from the field.
- Rounding out the starters, Lewis recorded seven assists and three steals, Williams added two steals and two assists, Strautmane tallied four points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Mangakahia tallied five points and four assists.
- Off the bench, Washington added six points and two steals, Finklea-Guity contributed two points, and Djaldi-Tabdi added three rebounds.
- Dayshanette Harris led the Panthers with 14 points.
Positive: Syracuse’s shooting was much more consistent in this game. They did not rush shots, nor did they panic when Pitt started to climb back. After a poor third quarter, the team regrouped and found ways to make plays in the final 10 minutes. Djaldi-Tabdi played her best basketball thus far and it was great seeing Washington & Finklea-Guity back on the court. Once again, Lewis and Engstler continue to make plays and win games for the Orange.
Negative: Syracuse was 14-22 from the free throw line. They are currently ranked dead last in the ACC with a 64.5 percent mark on the season. Though these points didn’t necessarily matter this time around, free throw shots certainly have and will in closer games.
Next up, Syracuse will host Notre Dame on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. EST. The game will air on ACC Network.