Women’s basketball trampled by Notre Dame after tough second quarter
Women's basketball trampled by Notre Dame
The No. 18 Syracuse Women’s Basketball Team couldn’t keep up with the defending National Champions, the No. five ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, losing 98-68. The 30-point deficit is the largest this season for the Orange in front of the season’s biggest crowd of 7,568 fans.
The first quarter started off promising with a back and forth battle on the court, resulting in eight lead changes. Syracuse (20-7, 8-5) tried to hold on to an 18-17 lead, but Notre Dame (26-3, 13-2) ended the quarter on a 7-1 run. The Orange shot 48 percent in field goals and quickly fell behind and ended the quarter 25-19.
The trouble continued in the second quarter. Syracuse’s starting point guard Tiana Mangakahia found herself in foul trouble, leaving her out of action for much of the second quarter. Mangakahia finished the first half with only three assists, two turnovers and no baskets.
Without Mangakahia, the Orange struggled against Notre Dame, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half. Syracuse’s offensive attempts fell short, producing missed layups and jumpers on good looks from the field. The Orange couldn’t connect on shots and went 3-for-13 in field goals, scoring only eight points in the second quarter.
The Fighting Irish took advantage of the Orange’s mishaps, scoring 15 points on Syracuse turnovers in the first half and scored another 12 points on fast breaks. Notre Dame’s unselfish offense dished out a combined 15 assists compared to Syracuse’s six assists in the first half.
The Orange didn’t go down without a fight. Opening the second half, Mangakahia lit up the third quarter with 11 points. Syracuse scored 20 points in the third quarter but could not catch up to the Norte Dame lead.
“Obviously, I was very disappointed in the outcome,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “This is a game where we had a very good opportunity to come on our own floor and beat a very good team, and we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. That’s very disappointing.”
Mangakahia finished the game with 17 points, seven assists and four steals. Miranda Drummond posted 15 points including four three-pointers, and Digna Strautmane recorded seven rebounds and 10 points.
The Orange face a top-25 team in Florida State on Thursday in Tallahassee. Syracuse ends their regular season in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, March 3 against Boston College before the ACC tournament March 6 to March 10 in Greensboro, North Carolina.