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Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Women’s Basketball Defeats Northwestern In The Big 10/ACC Challenge

By Brittany Ehrlich

SYRACUSE, N.Y — Syracuse women’s basketball defeated Northwestern 81-74 in Big 10/ACC Challenge.

The Orange finished the first half trailing for the first time this season, but adjusted for the comeback.

“Our girls are playing tough,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “They are really playing good basketball. I thought the first half we were a little sluggish and then the second half we really came out and put on a lot of pressure and sped the game up. [They] did some really good things on the defensive end.”

Overall, Hillsman said he was very proud of his team’s performance and boosted their confidence at halftime.

“I told them at halftime, I have reckless confidence and faith in them,” Hillsman said. “The things I think they could do is probably basketball reckless. They just play hard, they just really compete.”

Miranda Drummond led the Orange with a career high twenty-nine points. Drummond also noticed a difference in her team in the second half defensively.

“Second half we really focused on boxing out,” Drummond said. “They got a lot of points because of one player not boxing out. The second half we did better.”

Tiana Mangakahia has been a star for Syracuse game after game. Against Northwestern, Mangakahia scored 26 and 12 assits.

Northwestern’s head coach Joe McKeown spoke about what a great point guard she is and how his team prepped by watching footage.

As Mangakahia continues to have big performances, she knows teams will be scouting her and working on stopping her.

“There’s a lot of things I need to work on so they’ll work on my weaknesses,” Mangakahia said. “So I need to work on them so that when I get to the next game they won’t be able to. Right now, I’m working on my shooting.”

Earlier in the week Mangakahia was named ACC Co-Player of the week after having a Paradise Jam record for single-game assists (17) and three-game tournament assists (41) against George Washington.

Drummond and Mangakahia together totaled 55 points and 13 assists.

Other than Drummond and Mangakahia the rest of the team did not contribute as much offensively to the win. One player in particular that struggled was Digna Strautmane.

Strautmane went 2-13 on the floor.

“Some games some girls are going to play better and other games other girls are going to step up,” Strautmane said. “We’re a team and everybody can play. We are still practicing and going to get better.”

The Orange’s next game is Sunday December 3rd against Stony Brook at the Carrier Dome. A part of the America East Conference, Stony Brook is also currently undefeated with a 5-0 record.