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Syracuse women’s basketball loses to Virginia Tech, 76-68

Tiana Mangakahia and Kamilla Cardoso led the Orange with 18 points each

2.21.21 | Tiana Mangakahia at Virginia Tech. Photo by Olivia Coiro, Syracuse Athletics
2.21.21 | Tiana Mangakahia at Virginia Tech. Photo by Olivia Coiro, Syracuse Athletics
Olivia Coiro, Syracuse Athletics

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (11-6, 8-6 ACC) dropped their second straight game Sunday at the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-7, 7-7 ACC), 76-68. Tiana Mangakahia and Kamilla Cardoso led the team with 18 points each.


‘Cuse rocked custom pink and white Nike jerseys on Sunday in celebration of the Hokies’ Play4Kay game. The uniforms were designed by Syracuse University student Noah Hammerman. The Orange will have their breast cancer awareness game on Feb. 28 against NC State in the Carrier Dome.

Tiana Mangakahia, Kiara Lewis, Priscilla Williams, Digna Strautmane, and Kamilla Cardoso started for ‘Cuse.

Virginia Tech led by six, 10-4, midway through the opening quarter. A 10-2 Tech run followed, propelling the Hokies to a 20-8 lead into the second frame. Syracuse shot 3-13 from the field and 0-4 from three in the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Hokies continued to hold a double-digit advantage at the halfway point of the second quarter, 28-17. Virginia Tech grew its lead through the frame, holding a 22-point 44-22 advantage into halftime. Tech outscored ‘Cuse 24-14 in the quarter.

Syracuse shot 34.6% from the floor and 18.2% from three in the opening half, compared to Virginia Tech’s 54.8% and 50%. The Orange committed nine turnovers and forced just three Hokies’ mistakes. Tech scored 11 points off turnovers, while ‘Cuse converted 0 points. Cardoso led the team with 10 points off 5-5 shooting. Emily Engstler grabbed five rebounds and Mangakahia dished out three assists in the first half.

The Orange opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 14, 44-30 at 7:14. Mangakahia scored six of the team’s eight points in the run. An 11-3 ‘Cuse run slashed the Tech lead to single-digits, 53-44, at the two-minute mark of the third. The Hokies held a 59-46 advantage into the final 10 minutes of the game. Syracuse outscored Virginia Tech 24-15 and scored six three-pointers in the third frame. Mangakahia tallied 14 points in the quarter.

A 7-3 ‘Cuse run kept the Orange within nine points to start the final frame, 62-53. Despite best efforts, Syracuse was unable to kickstart a run big enough to overcome the deficit created in the first half.


  • Syracuse shot 43.4% from the floor and 10-28 from three. The team was a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. Virginia Tech shot 50% from the field and 10-24 from three.
  • The Orange held the advantage in rebounds (28-24), bench points (12-4), blocks (6-0), fast break points (15-6), steals (7-6), and points in the paint (22-18). The Hokies held the advantage in assists (19-13), turnovers (12-16), points off turnovers (20-9), and second chance points (10-7).
  • Cardoso shot 70% from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. The freshman also tallied six rebounds, a block, and a steal.
  • Mangakahia shot 50% from the field and was 4-of-9 from three. She also added seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
  • Strautmane tallied eight points, five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
  • Williams contributed six points and two rebounds.
  • Lewis shot 1-of-9 from the floor, but 4-of-4 from the free throw line. She also contributed two rebounds and a steal along with her six points.
  • Engstler also tallied six points and added five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.
  • Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi (3 pts) and Kiara Fisher (3) rounded out the scoring for the Orange.
  • Aisha Sheppard led the Hokies with 23 points.


Positive: The team was a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line.

Negative: After a 10-day break, the Orange should have come out firing on all cylinders. But, we saw the complete opposite today. Lewis had an unusually bad day. Engstler didn’t produce as much as we are used to seeing. The team cannot solely rely on Mangakahia and Cardoso to win games.

Syracuse will be at home for its final two games of the regular season. Up first, the Orange will host Boston College on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. EST. ‘Cuse defeated BC in Chestnut Hill on Dec. 20, 83-70. Syracuse will then battle No. 4 NC State on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m. EST. Both games will air on ACC Network. The conference has not announced make-up dates for the postponed Louisville & Notre Dame games from last week.