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Syracuse breaks ACC Tournament record for 3s in 92-85 quarterfinal win over Miami


first_imgSyracuse assistant coach Tammi Reiss stood alone in front of the Syracuse bench, her hands on her hips. As Tiana Mangakahia drove toward the basket and found Gabrielle Cooper for the  game-sealing 3, Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi swung her towel in front of Reiss, who raised both of her hands in the air and spun, high-fiving Isis Young mid-spin. The 3-pointer was the Orange’s 14th of the game, an ACC tournament record. It was the last field goal of the contest for No. 18 Syracuse (24-7, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) in its 92-85 win over No. 16 Miami, which sent the Orange into the semifinals of the tournament for the first time since 2016. Tiana Mangakahia scored a team-high 25 points and added 13 assists and six rebounds, while Cooper’s five 3s led SU in the category.“We knew we had to make shots,” Hillsman said. “The first game we played them at our place we just didn’t make shots. … And that was the biggest thing we wanted to do. We just wanted to put the ball in the basket so we can play defenses that we could call, not playing against an unsettled floor the entire game.”Mangakahia, who scored just 12 points against the Hurricanes on Jan. 23, made as many field goals in the first five minutes of the game as she did in their first matchup of the season. The Australia-native scored the first eight points of the game for the Orange, who trailed in the first quarter. Miranda Drummond was fouled on a 3-pointer with five seconds left and hit all three free throws though, cutting SU’s deficit to two after the first. That changed immediately in the the second quarter when Kiara Lewis caught fire from the field. The backup point guard followed Mangakahia’s lead, scoring eight consecutive points for the Orange to begin the period. Hers came quicker however, in a span of just 89 seconds. First, a layup in the paint. Next, a 3-pointer after a feed from Mangakahia. Then, another triple following a Mangakahia pass that gave SU its first lead of the game, 27-25. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTwo minutes later, Miami had tied the game before its offense went cold. Meanwhile, after scoring 30 points in 14 minutes, Syracuse finished the first half with 20 points in the last six. Digna Strautmane paced the Orange with eight points during the stretch and kicked off the run with a 3-pointer from the wing, which was followed by a triple by Cooper.Cooper shot 5-of-12 from 3 a game after going 3-of-5 from deep in Syracuse’s ACC tournament-opening win. The contests mark the first time the junior has made three or more 3s in a game since Jan. 3, around the time she was diagnosed with “walking pneumonia.” Cooper’s 3 prompted a Hurricanes timeout, but the break did little to slow down SU. Miami managed three free throws and two buckets the rest of the half, as the Orange’s run stretched to as much as 16.“All we talk about is toughness; what are you willing to do to save a possession?” Hillsman said. “They made a run. They took the lead. We came back and we made our run.”After maintaining the double-digit lead it earned in the second quarter for much of the third, Syracuse allowed the Hurricanes to cut into its lead late in the period. The decline started with a Drummond charge, when Mykea Gray slid in front of her after a pass. It continued thanks to three straight missed shots in a row, with just one Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi free throw wedged in between. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, made three of its last four shots of the quarter.The Orange’s cold stretch continued into the fourth, however. Drummond missed consecutive 3s and Djaldi-Tabdi missed a layup, allowing Miami to grab a 68-67 lead, its first since the second quarter. Fortunately for SU, its best 3-point shooter regained her stroke soon after. Drummond hit two 3s, the first from the corner and the second from the top of the key. The triples, combined with a Euro step layup by Mangakahia in between, pushed Syracuse’s lead back up to four with 6:46 left. While the Hurricanes cut SU’s lead to 3 with just under six minutes left, that was the closest they reached the rest of the contest. The Orange kept their lead at three possessions until Miami closed the gap to six, with 1:03 to go. That’s when Cooper hit her fifth and final 3-pointer of the day to put the game away. “Like Coach Q said, toughness and grit really…we’ll be confident,” Mangakahia said. “And just really pushing to the very end and giving it everything we have. And I think that’s going to help us get to the championship game.”Syracuse will play its semifinal game at noon on Saturday against No. 1 seed Notre Dame. The Orange fell to the Irish by 30 on Feb. 25. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 8, 2019 at 2:56 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34last_img

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