The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (15-8) defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (21-4) in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 at the Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas, 72-55. Syracuse will play the winner of No. 1-seed UConn/No. 16-seed High Point on Tuesday, March 23 in the Round of 32. UConn and High Point play Sunday at 8:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.
All five Orange starters scored in double-figures in the win. Emily Engstler led the team with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Digna Strautmane also tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kiara Lewis (14 points), Kamilla Cardoso (12), and Tiana Mangakahia (11) also contributed double-figure scoring.
Priscilla Williams (upper-body injury) and Taleah Washington, Kiara Fisher, Khamya McNeal, and Faith Blackstone (violation of team rules) did not travel to Texas for the tournament.
Starting Five: Tiana Mangakahia, Kiara Lewis, Emily Engstler, Digna Strautmane, and Kamilla Cardoso
Syracuse started the contest on an 8-0 scoring advantage. The Jackrabbits answered back with a 10-3 run to cut the Orange’s lead to 11-10 at 5:05 of the quarter. ‘Cuse held a 21-17 edge over SDSU into the second frame.
South Dakota State overtook the lead in the second quarter, but Syracuse quickly answered back to tie the game at 25-all at the seven-minute mark. A 12-6 Orange run ended the first half and gave ‘Cuse a 37-31 advantage into the locker rooms.
Syracuse shot 36.8% from the field and 37.5% from three in the first half, compared to South Dakota State’s 31.3% and 28.6%. The Orange committed just four turnovers and forced 12 Jackrabbit mistakes in the opening 20 minutes of play. Lewis led the team with nine points, while Mangakahia dished out five assists and Engstler/Strautmane grabbed four rebounds each in the first half.
The Orange grew their lead to nine to start the second half, but the Jackrabbits cut the advantage to one, 43-42, at 4:45 of the third frame. ‘Cuse continued to hold a small edge over SDSU into the final 10 minutes of play, 50-48.
With under five minutes to play, Syracuse led South Dakota State by ten, 63-52. The Orange continued to add to their lead through the final quarter to advance to the second round, 72-55.
We’re moving on— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) March 21, 2021
We will play the winner of UConn/High Point in the second round. The two tip-off now on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/17GwAFO7N5
- Syracuse shot 36.8% from the field and 38.7% from three, compared to SDSU’s 33.3% and 20% (4-20). The Orange committed 11 turnovers and forced 22 Jackrabbit mistakes.
- Engstler shot 6-14 from the field and 4-8 from three. She also tallied six steals and four blocks.
- Strautmane shot 5-10 from the field and 3-7 from three. She also tallied three steals, two blocks, and two assists.
- Lewis added five assists and two steals.
- Cardoso shot 4-9 from the field and added six blocks, three rebounds, and a steal.
- Mangakahia shot 4-9 from the field and 3-8 from three. She also added seven assists, three rebounds, and a steal.
- Amaya Finklea-Guity added four rebounds, two points, and two blocks.
- Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi added two points and two rebounds.
- Paiton Burckhard led the Jackrabbits with 17 points.
Positive: The defense played incredible. The team tallied 14 blocks, two blocks from an NCAA Tournament record, held SDSU to just 20% shooting from three, and forced 22 Jackrabbit turnovers.
Negative: Rebounds. With Cardoso & Engstler on the court, the Orange should not be outrebounded (46-38).
‘Cuse will play the winner of No. 1-seed UConn/No. 16-seed High Point on Tuesday.