Syracuse wins fourth straight, beats Duquesne 87-71 in St. Pete Shootout

first_img Published on December 21, 2018 at 9:56 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez No. 14 Syracuse (10-2) cruised past Duquesne (5-5) 87-71 on Friday night in the first game of the St. Pete Shooutout. Six different SU scorers finished with double-digit points. Tiana Mangakahia led the Orange with 20 points, nine assists and five rebounds. The star guard shot 6 for 11 from inside the arc and converted all five of her free throws. Julijana Vojinovic and Laia Sole each totaled 14 points for the Dukes. “We really wanted to speed the game up,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “I thought we did a good job of getting the pace we wanted. … We were willing to live with most of what happened because we made the game fast.”After stumbling at then-No. 20 Minnesota on Nov. 29, SU has won four-straight. SU followed up three consecutive 90-plus point performances with an 87-point showing on Friday after not scoring in the game’s final two minutes.Both teams traded shots in the opening minutes, but with an early 12-9 lead, Mangakahia hit a 3 ball and layup in a two-minute stretch. Miranda Drummond followed with a deep ball to give SU command in the first quarter. The margin hovered near 10 points for the remainder of the half. A Gabrielle Cooper layup sent the Orange to the break with a 45-30 lead.But SU’s shooters went cold in the third quarter. Syracuse missed its first five shots. On the other end, Kadri-Ann Lass worked inside for a layup on back-to-back trips. A few minutes later, Vojinovic connected on another deep ball and the Dukes trailed by seven. Cooper responded with a 3 of her own and Hillsman called a timeout. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We talked about getting our defense set on the back end of the press,” Hillsman said. “(Duquesne) was breaking our pressure and getting easy shots at the rim.” On the ensuing Duquesne possession, Paige Cannon turned it over. Drummond made a 3 to kickstart a 14-5 Orange run that all but sealed the victory. Kiara Lewis knocked down two 3-pointers in the final minute of the third that pushed the margin to 21. SU has now had four consecutive games with at least 10 3s made. Syracuse rotated the bench in the fourth quarter. Eight different Orange tallied double-digit minutes. Hillsman, as he has all season, credited SU’s depth. “We’re starting to play well,” Hillsman said. “We’re starting to play deeper into our bench. We just needed to play fast.” The St. Pete Shootout continues tomorrow as Syracuse faces UCF at 7:30 p.m in its last game before conference play begins on Jan. 3. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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