Kiara Lewis scores 1,000th point in Syracuse’s 81-69 victory over Notre Dame
Kiara Lewis scores 1,000th point in 81-69 victory
Kiara Lewis scored her 1,000th career point later in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame and gave her team the energy to come back against the Irish. Despite holding the lead for most of the game, Notre Dame fell to Syracuse late as the Orange scored 14 unanswered points to defeat the Irish 81-69.
Syracuse entered Sunday’s matinee coming off an 80-57 win against Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 28. Notre Dame, on the other hand, last played a week ago, on Jan. 24, and lost their matchup against UNC 78-73. While the Fighting Irish looked to add another win to the column, the Orange hoped to keep their undefeated home record intact.
Syracuse won the tipoff, but Kamilla Cardoso turned it over early. Tiana Mangakahia stole it back as the Irish moved down court and pulled up at the arc for the first points of the game. Notre Dame grabbed the next two points of the game from the paint. Priscilla Williams answered with a three of her own, and the Orange held the Irish scoreless on multiple drives before Lewis netted three more points for Syracuse.
Lewis was called for the first personal foul of the game and Anaya Peoples sunk both of her chances to more Notre Dame within five. Cardoso grabbed the rebound off the following chance at put up two to make up for the extra points. Mangakahia missed a three-point attempt, and the Irish sunk one at the other end of the court to reduce the gap to 11-9.
Despite starting off slow, the Irish were going shot for shot with the Orange. The Irish netted the first two points back from the media break to tie the game at 13 apiece. Syracuse quickly took back the lead, but Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi fouled Mikayla Vaughn as her layup went in and the Irish took their first lead of the day. The Orange couldn’t capitalize on their next possession, and a Notre Dame three-pointer moved the Irish ahead 19-15.
Notre Dame scored 15 unanswered points, including two three-pointers, to take a 28-15 lead as the first quarter ended.
After three-and-a-half minutes of scoreless play, the Irish add two more points from a Maddy Westbeld layup to double Syracuse’s score, holding a strong 30-15 lead. Lewis sunk a three-pointer for the Orange and, on the next possession, sent another shot to the net, where Digna Strautmane pulled down the rebound and put up two. Déjà vu hit, as Lewis went for three again, but this time is was Mjaldi-Tabdi who got two points off the layup.
Syracuse put up a few points – including threes from Mangakahia and Williams – but it wasn’t enough to completely close the gap, and the Irish went into halftime up 44-34.
The Orange sunk three-of-four three-point attempts in the opening minutes of the game, but the consistency stopped there. Through the first half, Syracuse missed eleven consecutive attempts and made six out of 23 total shots. Notre Dame attempted most of their points from within the arc, making 3-12 three-pointers but entering the half with a 57.6 field goal percentage and 22 points from the paint.
Entering the third quarter down by ten, the Orange received the ball first and Strautmane put up two on her first possession of the half. Notre Dame was called for another shot clock violation and the ball was back in Syracuse hands. The Irish were almost called for another shot clock violation, but Destinee Walker netted two points as the final seconds ticked down.
Mangakahia responded with another three, and when Notre Dame missed on their next chance, she dribbled down court and pulled up for two more points. Strautmane easily made a three of her own and Lewis netted a layup. The Orange capitalized on Notre Dame’s missed shots to inch closer to the Irish, closing the gap to 51-46 and forcing ND to take a timeout.
On Notre Dame’s first possession back, Syracuse left Dara Mabrey open and she easily landed a three. Mabrey scored another and Olivia Miles capitalized on a turnover by Emily Engstler to score two more for the Irish. She corrected her error shortly after, netting a three for Syracuse. She knocked the ball away from a Notre Dame player heading down court and passed it to Mangakahia, who fed the ball to Cardoso for a layup.
Still, with less than two-and-a-half minutes left in the third quarter, Notre Dame still held a 63-53 lead over the Orange. Mangakahia made another three-pointer with 1:33 left in the quarter, and those would be the final points in the third. Both teams exchanged missed shots, but the Irish still held a 65-58 lead heading into the fourth.
Nearly two minutes into the final frame, Mangakahia scored the first points of the quarter with another three to move Syracuse within four. She missed on her next attempt, but Notre Dame failed to capitalize on the change of possession. Engstler missed her shot but a pair of fouls against the Irish put the ball in Cardoso’s hands, and she scored three points off a layup and the bonus shot.
Three points behind Notre Dame, Mangakahia grabbed a rebound and ran it down court. She fed the ball to her backcourt counterpart in Lewis who lobbed a three to not only tie the game 67-67 but to score her 1,000th point at Syracuse. Notre Dame grabbed two more points to take the lead again.
The Orange held Notre Dame off the board in their next possession and Mangakahia fed the ball to Cardoso to take the 71-69 lead. Syracuse held off the Irish yet again and Williams netted three to extend the lead. For the third time in a row, the Orange stopped Notre Dame – this time with a block from Cardoso – and Engstler fed a rebound back to Cardoso to give Syracuse a 76-69 lead with 2:41 remaining. Cardoso finished the game with nine blocks, the most by a single player in a game since Dec. 4, 2010. The Orange held strong the remainder of the game, scoring 14 unanswered points for the 81-69 victory.
With the win, Syracuse moved to 9-3 on the season and 6-0 at home.
Mangakahia led the Orange in points with 19, and also offered up 11 assists and pulled down nine rebounds in the win. Cardoso had 18 points, while Lewis finished with 16 points.
Syracuse will travel to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. before returning to the Dome against Wake Forest on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.