Women’s basketball suffers nail-biting loss to NC State

Women's basketball suffers nail-biting loss to NC State

The Orange shot 36.6 percent in field goals, while NC State shot 41.7 percent.
Published: February 14, 2019
SU WBB vs NC State
Syracuse forward Digna Strautmane was triple-teamed by her NC State defenders.

In a top 25 ACC showdown, the Syracuse Women’s Basketball team lost a nail-biter at home against North Carolina State, 77-73.

On the heels of a 96-69 blowout win against Boston College Sunday, the No. 16 ranked Orange (18-6, 7-4) looked to carry that momentum against the No. 12 (22-2, 9-2) ranked Wolfpack which has lost its last two games. The matchup was a great chance to earn a win against a ranked opponent at home, according to Syracuse Head Coach Quentin Hillsman.

“Whether they’re ranked or not, you want to win at your home court,” Hillsman said. “We can’t let these opportunities get away from us.”

With 15 lead changes and six ties, neither team was able to grab firm control of the game. NC State went on a 7-0 run and led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter. Syracuse recaptured the lead with a three pointer by junior guard Tiana Mangakahia in the closing seconds of the first half, making the score 37-35.

In the second half, NC State dominated Syracuse on the boards. The Wolfpack secured 30 rebounds while the Orange were limited to just 16. Three players ended the game with at least 10 rebounds for NC State.

“They play close to the basket,” Hillsman said. “They did a good job limiting us to just one shot. We needed to do a better job at getting to the glass.”

NC State recaptured the lead and never surrendered it in the third quarter. Kiara Leslie drained three shots from deep, giving the Wolfpack a 58-57 lead to close out the quarter. Leslie scored 30 points for NC State and was the game’s leading scorer.

Syracuse got within striking range in the fourth quarter after a free throw by Mangakahia made it 72-71 NC State with 29.4 seconds remaining in the game. Unfortunately for the Orange, Leslie scored the final seven points for the Wolfpack and closed out the game.

SU WBB vs NC State
Tiana Mangakahia goes on a fast break after gaining possession of the ball. Mangakahia finished with a double-double.

Mangakahia put in a solid performance for Syracuse. The junior guard had 25 points and set up her teammates well with 10 assists. Mangakahia also got it done from beyond the arc, making four threes.

The Orange look to continue this five game homestand in their next matchup against the 10-14 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“We understand the urgency,” Hillsman said. “We’ve got five more games in conference, and we’ve still got the ACC tournament so there’s still plenty of time to make a run and win some games.”