WBB: Syracuse No Longer Undefeated At Home
By Brittany Ehrlich
Syracuse suffered its first home loss Thursday night, falling 73-64 to Virginia Tech. But despite the loss, SU point guard Tiana Mangakahia made history.
Mangakahia set the Syracuse single-season assist record on Thursday evening with a pass to Gabrielle Cooper in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a fantastic goal,” said Mangakahia. “I need to keep trying, that goal is going to be to keep trying to break it.”
Mangakahia passed Alexis Petterson’s record set last year of 231 assists with a pass to the lone remaining starter from Petterson’s team. That pass was Mangakahia’s 232nd of the season but Mangakahia went on to have two more assists against Virginia Tech.
Mangakahia finished the evening with 16 points and 13 assists for her 11th double-double of the season.
Mangakahia ranks fifth in Atlantic Coast Conference single-season history and is one assist shy of tying current South Carolina head coach and former Virginia star Dawn Staley who tallied 235 in 1991.
When you see names like Dawn Staley,” said Head Coach Quentin. “Wow, that’s an amazing feat to be chasing.”
Mangakahia also thanked her teammates for her success and insisted it’s not all about her but the bigger picture of her team.
Mangakahia was recently named as one of the ten remaining finalists 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). Now in its nineteenth year, the award recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I women’s college basketball.
Even with the record setting night Mangakahia struggled shooting. She shot just 6-19 from the field and 0-6 from three.
Syracuse as a whole team struggled on the offensive end. The Orange shot 30.8 percent and 18.6 percent from downtown on 43 attempts.
“Our players should take zero percent of this loss,” said Hillsman “It’s about me putting our players in better position to score.”
Mangakahia and her teammates didn’t believe it was the Hokies defense that led to their struggling performance but instead said it just wasn’t their night with shots not falling.
Freshman Digna Strautmane produced a solid night after a career high 25 points against Boston College. She recorded her fourth-straight game in double figures, and second-consecutive 20-point performance with 20 points.
Freshman Amaya Finklea-Guity also grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds while Miranda Drummond had a career and game-high 13 boards. The two become the first Orange duo to record double-figure rebound games since Strautmane and Drummond did so on Nov. 20, 2017, against Hartford.
Syracuse’s next game is Sunday February 4 against No. 4 Louisville. The Cardinals are currently 23-1 on the season.