Syracuse’s 9-Game Win Streak Snapped in Loss to Georgia Tech

Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsmanm yells to his players in the fourth quarter of a second round women’s college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament against Albany in Syracuse, N.Y., Sunday, March 20, 2016. Syracuse won 76-59. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 5:22 pm by Sports Editor

By A.J. Fabbri

CitrusTV Women’s Basketball Reporter

The fourth-longest winning streak in the country – nine games – was snapped Sunday as unranked Georgia Tech (13-6, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) upset No. 12 Syracuse (15-3, 4-1) 65-55 in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets stifled the Orange offense as SU scored a season-low 55 points after averaging 81.1 points per game, ranking 17th in the country.

Georgia Tech head coach Machelle Joseph opted to combat the SU offense with a 2-3 matchup zone, causing a rough start for the Orange as they started the game just 1-13 from the field.

In lieu of the outside shooting woes, the Orange relied on their inside presence to buoy their scoring. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi answered, notching six early points to give SU a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

It looked as if Syracuse was building momentum in the second quarter after back-to-back threes from Miranda Drummond and Emily Engstler put the Orange up nine. SU shot a meager 25.7 percent in the first half, but they did knock down 13 free throws to ensure a 10-point advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Come the second half, SU actually extended its lead all the way to 13, but the Orange had no answer for Georgia Tech’s Elizabeth Balogun and Francesca Pan as the two combined for 19 points in the third quarter alone. SU made one field goal in the final six minutes of the third quarter while the Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to just two headed into the final frame.

SU pushed its lead to 52-48 on a Mangakahia layup with seven minutes left. But from there, it was all Georgia Tech. A Mangakahia turnover led to a Pan three pointer to knot the game at 52.

Mangakahia recorded a season low in points with just five.

SU struggled to find the net in the final seven minutes, shooting just 1-8, and turning the ball over five times. Georgia Tech knocked down seven free throws in the final frame, as the SU offense couldn’t score.

In addition to just 55 points, SU shot 23.9 percent from the field, another season low. The Orange’s 19 percent three point percentage is the team’s worst since shooting 17.9 percent in the November 10 loss at Oregon.

Syracuse will return home and look to bounce back with a game against Miami on Wednesday, January 23 at 7 p.m. | @armand_john