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Syracuse women’s basketball downs Wake Forest 85-78

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Digna Strautmane led the Orange with a season-high 17 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks

NCAA Womens Basketball: Miami-Florida at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (10-4, 7-4 ACC) defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-8, 5-7 ACC) on Thursday in the Carrier Dome, 85-78. Syracuse is now 7-0 at home this season. Digna Strautmane led the Orange with a season-high 17 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks.

Three other Syracuse players also scored in double-figures. Kamilla Cardoso recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Kiara Lewis tallied 16 points and six rebounds, while Tiana Mangakahia scored 15 points and dished out five assists. ‘Cuse tallied 12 total blocks, including six from Cardoso.

Recap

Tiana Mangakahia, Kiara Lewis, Priscilla Williams, Digna Strautmane, and ACC Freshman of the Week Kamilla Cardoso started for Syracuse.

The Orange led by two early in the first quarter, 7-5, including five points from Strautmane. Wake Forest went on a 6-0 run to lead 11-7 at 4:35 of the quarter. The Demon Deacons held a one-point advantage, 19-18, into the second frame. Syracuse blocked five Wake shots in the first quarter.

The Orange were off to a slow scoring start in the second frame, sinking their first field goal at 6:51 with a bucket from Cardoso, 24-21 Wake. A 7-2 Syracuse run tied the score at 26 midway through the quarter. Both squads traded shots through the final minutes of the quarter to enter halftime with a 38-37 ‘Cuse advantage. Mangakahia scored her first points of the game with a buzzer-beating three to give the Orange the lead into the locker room.

Syracuse shot 44.1 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three, compared to Wake’s 46.9 percent and 62.5 percent in the first half. The Orange committed five turnovers and forced six Demon Deacon turnovers. There were seven ties and eight lead changes in the opening quarters. ‘Cuse tallied seven total blocks in the first half.

Strautmane tied her season-high points in the first half with 14 and added four blocks. Cardoso scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in the opening half, while Mangakahia contributed three assists.

Williams opened Syracuse’s second half scoring attack with a wide-open three, 41-37 ‘Cuse. The Orange continued to add to their lead to hold a 49-41 advantage at 3:56 of the third. A jumper from Lewis gave ‘Cuse a double-digit lead, 62-52, with under a minute to play in the quarter. A pair of Wake free throws cut the score to 62-54 into the final frame. Syracuse made seven straight shots over the final four minutes of the quarter.

A layup from Amaya Finklea-Guity propelled the Orange back to a 10-point lead, 64-54. Syracuse continued to build its lead with four straight points from Cardoso, 75-60 ‘Cuse at 3:47. The Demon Deacons went on an 18-7 to make the contest a two-possession game, 82-78, at :12. Despite best efforts for a comeback from Wake, Syracuse was able to secure the narrow 85-78 win.

Stats

  • Syracuse shot 48.5 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from three. Wake shot 43.3 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from the three. The Orange out-rebounded the Demon Deacons (42-38), dished out more assists (18-16), tallied more steals (6-5), and outscored Wake in bench points (12-9), fast-break points (18-4), points off turnovers (15-7), points in the paint (40-34), and second chance points (10-7). The Orange committed 12 turnovers and forced 10 Wake turnovers.
  • Six Syracuse players shot over 50 percent from the field in the win.
  • Strautmane connected on 7 of her 13 attempts and made 3 of her 6 three-point attempts. She also added two steals and three assists.
  • Cardoso went 6-12 from the floor and also added two assists and a steal.
  • Lewis also added two assists and shot 60 percent in the game.
  • Mangakahia added a steal and a rebound in the win. The Australian native shot 55.6 percent from the field.
  • Williams tallied nine points, three rebounds, and two assists for the Orange. The freshman went 3-5 from the field.
  • Emily Engstler tallied four points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block. She shot 2-9 from the field and 0-4 from three.
  • Finklea-Guity tallied two points and five rebounds, while Djaldi-Tabdi added six points, a rebound, and a block.
  • Gina Conti led the Demon Deacons with 25 points.

Takeaways

Positive: It was a block party in Central New York Thursday night. Cardoso is going to be fun to watch the next four years. Syracuse also shot well from the field, connecting on 32 of their 66 shots. Also, the Orange were only down one point after the first quarter compared to double-digits the last few games.

Negative: FREE THROWS! The game was close at the end because Syracuse went 11-19 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and 14-25 total in the game. These continue to be missed opportunities for the Orange.

Next up, the Orange will travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. EST. The game will air on ACC RSN. Syracuse defeated Pitt on Jan. 28, 80-57, in the Dome. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi led all scorers with a season-high 17 points, 7-8 shooting, off the bench in the win.