Miami drops Syracuse women after missed shots plague the Orange

Miami drops Syracuse women after missed shots plague the Orange

Kiara Lewis comes off the bench to score a team-high 16 points and made some exceptional plays.
Published: January 24, 2019
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Tiana Mangakahia goes up for a shot over Miami defenders as the Orange lose to the Hurricanes 84-71.

The Syracuse women’s basketball team fell to No. 23 Miami tonight after an unusual amount of missed shots plagued the team and the Orange lost 84-71.

“It’s time for me to be a leader,” Syracuse Head Coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We’ve got to make some shots. We’re not shooting the ball well. We’ve got to get it fixed, and it’s my responsibility to get it fixed.”

Coach Quentin Hillsman outlines what he thinks went wrong in the Miami defeat of Syracuse.

A top shooter for the Orange (15-4, 4-2), Miranda Drummond, didn’t play after suffering a calf injury at practice last night. Syracuse only hit 28 of their 77 field goals and five of their 32 three-point shots. Miami (17-4, 5-1) went 25-51 in field goals and 9-15 in threes.

Freshman Kadiatou Sissoko took Drummond’s starting position and looked a bit uncomfortable on the floor. Given, she’s only played seven minutes before tonight after suffering a knee injury against Princeton on Nov. 23, so she has good reason to look uncomfortable on the floor. She eventually adjusted, and while only hitting three points made some good plays for the Orange.

Redshirt sophomore guard Kiara Lewis scored 16 points against the Hurricanes for a team-high. Lewis did an exceptional job of finding backdoor cuts, moving the ball, and overall being the leader the team needed on the floor while she was out.

A large part of Syracuse’s issue is that they couldn’t (or didn’t) drive to the basket enough). The team largely settled for outside threes, many of which looked forced. Miami had a relatively good defense, but overall the Orange just weren’t taking the opportunities they needed to get to the hole.

Miami got put at the stripe for 29 foul shots, while Syracuse only got to shoot 12. Given, there were some questionable calls on the court that didn’t go in Syracuse’s favor — but those numbers still say that the team needs to drive more.

In the Georgia Tech game on Sunday, Syracuse was down 70-67 with three minutes left and began to force up shots from deep— all of which were scooped up by Georgia Tech defenders. Tonight, the Orange had the same problem: they were down 59-55 with 1:04 left and forced up four three-pointers that were all collected by Miami. If the Orange were to slow down, drive to the basket, and open the opportunity for a three-point play (if they attract the foul), then these last two games could have been different.

“Don’t worry,” Hillsman said in a post-game press conference. “We’re going to be alright.”

Syracuse plays an unranked Duke on Sunday at 1 p.m.