Syracuse women’s basketball sweeps Cancun Challenge after OT win against DePaul

SU women's basketball sweeps Cancun Challenge

The Orange took down Kansas State, Princeton and No. 16 DePaul.
Published: November 25, 2018
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Orange players Gabrielle Cooper and Tiana Mangakahia (MVP) were named to the 2018 Mayan Division All-Tournament Team.

The Syracuse women’s basketball team (6-1) took first place in the Mayan Division of the Cancun Challenge this past weekend after defeating Kansas State, Princeton and No. 16 DePaul.

Both Gabrielle Cooper and Tiana Mangakahia (MVP) were named to the 2018 Mayan Division All-Tournament Team.

The team began their 3-0 run in Mexico on Thursday. Below are game recaps.

Thursday: Syracuse 70, Kansas State 61

Syracuse took an early lead in the first quarter and maintained it until two free throws from Kansas State’s Peyton Williams brought the Wildcats to a 48-46 lead over the Orange.

The Wildcats kept the lead until Syracuse’s Mangakahia stole the ball and made a lay-up on a fast break, making the score 53-52. While the Orange went on to score 17 more points, they contained Kansas to only 9 more.

Mangakahia and Digna Strautmane led scoring for the Orange with 18 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman Emily Engstler led the team in rebounds (7), blocks (2) and steals (4).

Friday: Syracuse 92, Princeton 61

Princeton took an early 5-0 lead within the first minute of the game, but Syracuse went on to finish the first quarter with a 30-17 lead. Mangakahia, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Cooper and Kiara Lewis all had fast break points to put the Orange ahead in the first.

The Orange’s largest lead came in the fourth when they led the Tigers by 33. Syracuse ended the game with 34 bench points, 36 points in the paint and 18 fast break points.

Junior guard Cooper led both teams in scoring with 20 points, while three more Orange players scored in double digits. Mangakahia ended the game with a double-double, with 11 assists and 14 points. Engstler, again, led the team in rebounds with 11, but also had seven turnovers.

Saturday: Syracuse 83, DePaul 81 OT

Syracuse dominated the first quarter, finishing with a 18-6 lead over the Blue Demons. DePaul closed the gap in the second quarter, ending the half only trailing by 6.

With two minutes left in the third, the Orange had a 15-point lead over the Blue Demons, but by the end of the quarter, DePaul was able to narrow that to only a 4-point lead for Syracuse.

With a lay-up from Dee Bekelja in the fourth, DePaul was able to take the lead over the Orange and maintain it until Mangakahia drove for a lay-up with 19 seconds left to give them a 70-68 lead. With one second remaining, DePaul’s Chante Stonewall made a lay-up to put the game into overtime.

DePaul led the entirety of the overtime period until Mangakahia made a three with 49 seconds left to tie the teams 81-81. DePaul’s Tanita Allen missed a jumper, which was rebounded by Stonewall — but Strautmane fouled Stonewall and put her at the line for two. Stonewall missed both free throws, and Miranda Drummond rebounded the second botched shot until the Orange called a timeout.

The Orange inbounded the ball into the backcourt where Mangakahia recovered. She dribbled across the midcourt line, weighed her options for a few seconds — and then attacked. Mangakahia rolled off a high pick from Strautmane, drove in the lane, went baseline under the basket and pulled off a reverse lay-up at the buzzer to give the Orange the win.

Out of the 13 points the Orange scored in overtime, Mangakahia scored 11 while Lewis had two. Mangakahia finished with a team-high 22 points, while Drummond finished with 21.

DePaul’s Stonewall finished with a game-high 25 points.