SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) - The Syracuse University women's basketball team dropped its second-straight Atlantic Coast Conference game in the Carrier Dome with a seven-point loss to No. 4 Louisville on Sunday. With 10 lead changes in the clash, the Cardinals held off a fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Orange 84-77. ‘Cuse moves to 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the league while Louisville improves to 24-1 and 10-1 in the ACC.
Syracuse is now 4-2 inside the Carrier Dome against its last six nationally-ranked opponents.
Louisville’s Asia Durr led all scorers with 27 points while Myisha Hines-Allen had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Digna Strautmane led the Orange with 22 points while Tiana Mangakahia had her 12th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 assists. Miranda Drummond chipped in 12 points and a team-best six rebounds.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED
Syracuse matched Louisville basket-for-basket in the first quarter and led 23-21 at the end of the first frame. The Orange shot 66.7 percent from the field (10-for-15) while holding the Cardinals to 45.4 percent (10-for-22) and just one 3-point basket. Strautmane led all scorers with 10 points in the first quarter to tally her fifth-straight game scoring in double figures.
Louisville outrebounded ‘Cuse 11-6 in the second quarter and outscored the Orange 19-12 to pull ahead 40-35 at halftime. There were 10 lead changes in the first half alone, a season-high for Syracuse. Louisville’s Sydney Zambrotta made a trey with five seconds to go in the half to send the Cardinals into the locker room with a five-point lead.
A slow start in the third frame by the Orange saw Louisville open with a 9-0 run to lead 49-35 before Mangakahia converted on a three-point play to end the Cardinals’ run. Louisville led by as many as 17 with 2:08 to play in the quarter.
The Orange outscored Louisville by eight in the final 10 minutes and had a game-high 26 points in the quarter. Syracuse cut the deficit to nine on three occasions down the stretch but the Cardinals maintained a double-figure lead for most of the quarter and held on to win by seven.
“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.”
Strautmane had her 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 3-pointers.
Mangakahia talled her ACC-leading 12th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 assists as she moved into fourth all-time in single-season assists for the ACC with 244.
Syracuse has a week to prepare for it’s Feb. 11 road clash with the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. in Winston-Salem, N.C., and can be streamed on ACCN Extra.
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