Teams: Syracuse Orange (11-5, 8-5 ACC) at Virginia Tech Hokies (11-7, 6-7 ACC)
Day & Time: Sunday, February 21 at 12 p.m. EST
Location: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.
TV/Streaming: ACC RSN
Opponent Blog: Gobbler Country
Current Streak: Syracuse: L1 | Virginia Tech: W4
All-Time Series: Syracuse leads 8-6
Teams Last Meeting: The Orange defeated the Hokies, 67-65, on Jan. 30, 2020. Syracuse erased a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Tech. Kiara Lewis led all scorers with 19 points.
- Syracuse returns to the court after a 10-day break due to positive COVID-19 tests within their opponent’s programs (Louisville & Notre Dame).
- Fan voting is now live for the Basketball Hall of Fame Awards. Vote Tiana Mangakahia for the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year and Kamilla Cardoso for the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year.
- ‘Cuse stands in fourth place in the conference standings and is projected as an eighth seed in ESPN’s Bracketology by Charlie Creme.
- Freshman Kamilla Cardoso leads the team with 15.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Kiara Lewis stands just behind Cardoso in scoring, averaging 14.1 points per contest. Emily Engstler is making a name for herself as ACC Sixth Player of the Year, averaging a near double-double this season with 9.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest off the bench. Tiana Mangakahia (10.8 pts) is also contributing double-figure scoring for ‘Cuse this season while dishing out 7.7 assists per game.
- The Orange rank in the top-5 of the ACC in assists per game (1st), blocked shots per game (1st), blocked shots (2nd), steals per game (2nd), 3-PT field goals per game (3rd), turnovers forced (3rd), assists (4th), field goal % defense (4th), steals (4th), scoring offense (5th), 3-PT field goals attempted (5th), 3-PT field goals made (5th), and won-lost % (5th). The team ranks top-25 nationally in blocked shots per game (2nd), total blocks (9th), and assists per game (24th).
- In the conference, Mangakahia ranks in total assists (1st) and assists per game (1st), Cardoso ranks in total blocks (1st), blocked shots per game (1st), field goal % (2nd), and rebounds (5th), Lewis ranks in free throw attempts (3rd) and minutes played per game (3rd), Engstler ranks in steals per game (3rd) and rebounds per game (5th). Nationally, Mangakahia ranks in assists per game (1st) and total assists (5th), while Cardoso ranks in field goal % (6th), blocked shots per game (8th), and total blocks (11th).
- For four straight weeks, a Syracuse player was selected as Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week: Priscilla Williams (Jan. 18) and Kamilla Cardoso (Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 8).
- No public tickets will be available for the 2021 ACC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The women’s tournament will take place March 3-7 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- The NCAA announced that the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be held in San Antonio, Texas. The tournament will have a 64-team bracket and the .500 rule will be waived. A limited number of fans will be allowed with a capacity of up to 17% from the Sweet Sixteen through the Final Four. More information about ticket sales will be available after March 1. The committee will announce the bracket at 7 p.m. EST on Selection Monday, March 15 on ESPN.
Syracuse’s Last Game: The Orange lost on the road to Florida State Feb. 11, 52-67. Three Orange players reached double-figure scoring, including Kamilla Cardoso (14 pts), Tiana Mangakahia (13), and Kiara Lewis (12).
: What to do with an unexpected 10-day break between games.— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) February 18, 2021
Rest, recovery and working on fundamentals. pic.twitter.com/iF1tnvDJ0Y
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Quentin Hillsman (15th year, 315-165) | Virginia Tech - Kenny Brooks (5th year, 108-63)
Opponent Coach Bio: Brooks is the only active ACC Coach with a streak of 15 consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories. Prior to joining the Hokies, Brooks coached at James Madison for 14 seasons. He is the winningest coach in that school’s history with a record of 337-122 (.756). Brooks played at JMU for three seasons and worked as the program’s assistant upon graduation. He also was an assistant at VMI for four years before returning to JMU.
Opponent Last Year: Last season, Virginia Tech went 21-9 with an 11-7 ACC record. The Hokies fell in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals to Wake Forest, 55-58.
Opponent’s Last Game: The Hokies defeated Miami 75-55 on Feb. 11, marking the team’s fourth consecutive win. Elizabeth Kitley led the team with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Opponent Players to Watch: Kitley averages a double-double on the season with 18.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. The sophomore was the 2020 ACC Freshman of the Year and earned Preseason All-ACC team honors this season.
If Syracuse Wins: A must-win to stay in the top half of the conference standings.
If Syracuse Loses: Let’s hope Georgia Tech (3rd in ACC) and Florida State (5th) lose too.
Next Game: The Orange will host Boston College Thursday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. EST on ACC Network. Syracuse defeated BC in Chestnut Hill on Dec. 20, 83-70. Cardoso went 10-11 from the field, leading all scorers with 24 points.