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Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 5:19 pm

WBB: Syracuse Drops 84-77 To No. 4 Louisville

By Brittany Ehrlich

Syracuse Women’s Basketball lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2013. Although the Orange didn’t win, they kept up with the fourth best team in the nation, Louisville.

At the half, Syracuse trailed by just five to a team who normally leads its opponents by 22.

“Give them credit,” Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz said. “I thought they executed. They played extremely hard. They played extremely well. And they, they made shots.”

The star of the season for Syracuse (17-7, 5-6 Atlantic Coast) has been point guard Tiana Mangakahia who had another impressive night. Mangakahia posted her 12th double-double of the season.

“She is fun to watch,” said Walz. “You know, if you’re a basketball fan in this city, if you don’t come out here to watch her. Shame on you. I mean…I have no idea why there isn’t 5,000, 6,000 people out there every game watching that kid play. She is spectacular. We watch enough film. She is special.”

Mangakahia scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds. She also moved into fourth in all-time single-season assists for the ACC with 244.

She wasn’t the only player to have success against the Cardinals. Digna Strautmane led the Orange with 22 points.

This was Strautmane’s fifth-consecutive game scoring in double figures with and third-straight 20-point performance with a team-best 22 points. The Latvia native shot 9-for-20 from the field and knocked down a team-best three three-pointers.

“The kids played hard but we came up short,” said head coach Quentin Hillsman. “At the end of the day we had a great opportunity on our home floor to beat a really good team and we have to win that game. We had some opportunities but we had some spurts that we didn’t play too well during. Overall, I thought the kids played hard and they competed. Louisville is a great team and that is why they are 24-1. They make plays and they don’t let you off the hook.”

Syracuse now has a little over a week off before their next game. Mangakahia and Gabrielle Cooper both agreed that this time off will help the team regroup, practice and improve.

Syracuse’s next game is at Wake Forrest Feb. 11th. The Demon Deacons are currently 11-12 on the season.