Mangakahia’s Triple-Double Propels No. 12 Syracuse over North Carolina
By A.J, Fabbri
CitrusTV Women’s Basketball Reporter
Playing on its home court for the first time in nearly a month, No. 12 Syracuse (12-3, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) rolled to a 90-77 victory over North Carolina (9-8, 0-3 Atlantic Coast). The fifth time SU has cracked the 90 point plateau this year, every SU player contributed.
Tiana Mangakahia led the way for the Orange, tallying a season-high 34 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds to capture her first career triple-double. Though the junior point guard finished with the most impressive stat line of the night, the entire team was red hot to start the game.
Last season, Syracuse nailed a school record 20 three pointers against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The Orange seemed poised to break that record today, as SU drilled eight deep balls in the first ten minutes of the game to sprint out to an early 32-25 lead. Miranda Drummond hit three shots from distance, Mangakahia added two, and Gabrielle Cooper, Digna Strautmane, and Emily Engstler all contributed their own three balls.
Syracuse kept the Tar Heels off the offensive boards in the second quarter. SU held UNC to just three made field goals in the second frame to open the game up to a 56-37 ball game at the half.
North Carolina cut the lead to seven in the second half as five different Tar Heels scored in an 21-5 run that made it 61-54.
Amaya Finklea sunk two free throws, followed by a runner in the lane to push the lead back to double digits with 2:50 left in the third. The lead swelled to as much as 17 in the fourth, as the Orange cruised to their eighth straight win.
In securing her first ever triple-double, Mangakahia contributed to nearly two-thirds of SU’s scoring. She either scored or assisted on 21 of Syracuse’s 33 made field goals. The junior has notched double-digit scoring in 15 of the 16 SU contests this season.
Digna Strautmane posted 14 points on 6-12 shooting, while Miranda Drummond knocked down three of six three-point attempts to total 13 points.
The Orange now hit the road for a two-game road trip, taking on Pittsburgh this Thursday and Georgia Tech on Sunday.
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