Women’s basketball keep it close late, but lose to strong Louisville team

Orange keeps it close, loses to strong Louisville team

The Orange have lost two straight games in the Carrier Dome, after winning its opening eleven games.
Published: February 5, 2018

The Syracuse women’s basketball team lost its second straight home game of the season on Sunday afternoon to the fourth-ranked Louisville Cardinals 84-77.

The Orange gave up its second most points of the season to the Cardinals, led by junior guard Asia Durr. Durr, arguably the best player in college basketball this year, scored 27 points and tallied seven assists against the Orange.

“She’s just a fantastic player and she can really get a basket from anywhere on the floor,” said Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman.

Asia Durr wasn’t alone in her efforts on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals had two other players score in double figures, and forced the Orange into 15 turnovers for the game. Syracuse sophomore point guard Tiana Mangakahia had 10 turnovers in the game, more than four above her average.

“I had ten turnovers and I just need to take care of the ball,” said Mangakahia.

Women's basketball versus Louisville
Tiana Mangakahia (4) drives to the basketball for Syracuse against Louisville on Feb. 4.

While Mangakahia struggled in the turnover column, she posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists. The effort was strong all over the floor for the Orange. Freshman forward Digna Strautmane led Orange scorers with 22 points and recorded two blocks. Hillsman was proud of his team’s effort against one of the toughest teams in the nation.

“I think that our kids really did a good job of just playing hard and being urgent,” Hillsman said.

Syracuse was down only five at the half, but a tough third quarter proved too much for the Orange to overcome. The Cardinals outscored Syracuse 26-16 in the third period.

“They did a very good job of attacking us in transition,” Hillsman said. “I definitely think the game was decided in the third quarter in those early minutes.”

The Orange remain in the middle of the pack in the ACC heading into Sunday’s game at Wake Forest. With only 5 conference games remaining on the schedule, Syracuse will need to play well in order to get into the NCAA tournament.

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is a contributor to The NewsHouse at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.