Blue beats Orange in SU women’s Hoops and Scoops event

SU women's basketball starts with Hoops and Scoops event

The regular season starts November 6.
Published: October 15, 2018

The Syracuse Women’s Basketball team hosted its first scrimmage at the Carrier Dome at noon on Sunday. Dishing out ice cream, playing music and handing out posters, Syracuse Athletics was excited to see more than a thousand fans at the Dome supporting the Orange.

The women split up into teams of Blue (Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, Gabrielle Cooper, Kiara Lewis, Veronika Vorackova, Emily Engstler, Brandi Fowler and Kadiatou Sissoko) and Orange (Raven Fox, Chelayne Bailey, Tiana Mangakahia, Marie-Paule Foppossi, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Isis Young, Lauren Fitzmaurice, Miranda Drummond and Digna Strautmane) to play a 35-minute game. The Blue team came out with the win, 36-35.

From the jump, both teams looked to run-and-gun the floor, getting quick shots off early in the shot clock. Head Coach Quentin Hillsman stood on the sidelines signaling his players to push the ball up the floor, looking to create and score early in transition. Redshirt sophomore Kiara Lewis set the tone for Blue, knocking down back-to-back mid-range jumpers. Junior point guard Tiana Mangakahia used her speed to get to the rim early in the offense for the Orange team. Mangakahia went to the line three times within ten minutes of play.

“Run wide!” came from the bench numerous times throughout the scrimmage. Hillsman continued to stress the importance of the guards running to the outside corners, creating more space and opportunities on the court.

“We want to get down the court in transition to create one-on-one, two-on-one opportunities right away,” Hillsman said. “We are definitely emphasizing spacing, playing inside-out a little bit more, as you can see we got a lot of post touches. So it’s really important we are getting the ball inside. We have very talented post players that can score.”

The Blue team looked to get the ball inside to McDonald’s All-American and New York State Gatorade Player of the Year freshman Emily Engstler, who is a key player for the Syracuse Orange this season. Along with Engstler, the Orange gain two more freshman Kadiatou Sissoko, a French native who represented France on the U20 national team at this summer’s U20 FIBA European Championships, as well as Veronika Vorackova, Czech Republic’s U20 FIBA European Championships B Division star who was honored as the tournament MVP.

Syracuse returns all five starters (Tiana Mangakahia, Gabrielle Cooper, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Miranda Drummond and Digna Strautmane) from last year’s team, while additionally returning 13 letterwinners who made up 96.4 percent of its scoring last season.

Defensively, Cuse predominantly plays an extended two-three zone, closing out on shooters while using the teams’ height inside to its advantage.

The Orange host the first game in the Carrier Dome against North Dakota on Nov. 6 at 3 p.m.