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Syracuse in the WNBA: Brittney Sykes, Tiana Mangakahia both active in preseason

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Brittney Sykes started for Los Angeles, while Tiana Mangakahia played 15 minutes off the bench for Phoenix in each team’s preseason game

Seattle Storm v Los Angeles Sparks Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Syracuse Orange alumnae Brittney Sykes and Tiana Mangakahia appeared in their teams’ respective WNBA preseason games this weekend.

Sykes, who is entering her fifth season in the W and second with Los Angeles, started for the Sparks in the team’s Saturday scrimmage against the Las Vegas Aces. Sykes played 20 minutes and tallied four rebounds, two points, a steal, and an assist. The game ended in a tie, 85-all.

Last season, Sykes averaged 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last year and earned 14 starts in 21 games she played in. She ranked eighth in field goal percentage (56.4%) in the league and was named to the WNBA All-Defense Second Team.

LA officially opens the 2021 season at home versus the Dallas Wings on Friday, May 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET live on Facebook.

Mangakahia, who went undrafted and signed a training camp contract with Phoenix, appeared in her first WNBA game on Saturday. Mangakahia came off the bench in the Mercury’s practice game against the 2020 WNBA Champions Seattle Storm. She tallied seven points, a rebound, and an assist in the game, going 2-for-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. The Mercury were defeated by the Storm 88-71.

In order to make the final roster of at most 12 players, Mangakahia will need to survive the rest of training camp this week. Final rosters are due Thursday, May 13 at 5 p.m. ET. Phoenix will open the 2021 season on the road against the Minnesota Lynx on Friday, May 14 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.