Syracuse Headed to the ACC Quarterfinals After Win Over Virginia
By Toni Bianco
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Syracuse Women’s Basketball team advances to the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals tomorrow against fourth-seeded Miami. After a first-round bye, the Orange (23-7, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) clinched a 67-57 win against Virginia (12-19, 5-11 ACC) earlier today in the second-round of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Cavaliers put up a resilient effort but were unable to hold on as the Orange put on an offensive clinic. Four SU shooters scored in double-digits including forward Digna Strautmane, who led all scorers with 14 points and five rebounds.
The first half was a three-point showcase for the Orange. In the first quarter, Gabrielle Cooper started out hot with two threes to give the Orange an early lead.
Last time the Cavaliers and the Orange faced off, it was a back-and-forth effort that continued into the final minutes of play. The first half this time around appeared to be going the same way. UVA chipped away at that small lead, thanks to Dominique Toussaint, who scored 10 in the first two frames.
Virginia also managed to nab nine offensive rebounds in the first half compared to three for SU, and had 10 second-chance points, even though they were outsized.
Syracuse had 6 points-off turnovers in the second quarter to push the pace of the game. In the final four minutes of the half, the Orange were able to pull away with three three-pointers from senior Miranda Drummond and head into the half with a 11 point cushion.
Virginia continued to try to cut into SU’s lead, but foul trouble took Toussaint out of the game. Jocelyn Willoughby caught fire in the second half, scoring 17 of her 19 total points after the halftime buzzer.
The Cavaliers started to focus on defending the three, so Tiana Mangakahia shut them up by taking the game inside the paint, facilitating through drives and working the high-low pass.
Strautmane propelled the Orange to a 14-point lead in the third quarter, but back-to-back baskets from Willoughby would lead Virginia’s final push.
It was not enough as SU sends UVA packing and punches its ticket to the quarterfinal tomorrow at 11 a.m.
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