Tiana Mangakahia’s buzzer-beater leads Syracuse over DePaul after 2nd-half collapse

first_img Published on November 24, 2018 at 4:35 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman spread his arms wide, feet locked on the Syracuse sideline. After 45 minutes of game time, he and his Orange bench looked on anxiously as SU point guard Tiana Mangakahia handled the ball at the top of the key. She drove to her right, pausing by the right block. Keeping her dribble, Mangakahia veered left on the baseline and got an angle by wrapping her left elbow around her DePaul defender.She released a reverse layup off the fingertips of her right hand. As the buzzer sounded, the ball fell through the basket, sending Mangakahia to her back and her head coach into a tizzy. With his right hand in the air and his pointer finger extended, Hillsman sprinted down the Syracuse sideline before leading his team onto the court to mob Mangakahia.The junior point guard’s layup at the end of overtime pushed No. 14 Syracuse (6-1) over No. 16 DePaul (3-2), 83-81. The victory marks SU’s fifth in a row and completes a perfect week at the Cancun Challenge, in which the Orange went 3-0.“She played great late in the game,” Hillsman said after the game to SU Athletics. “She came back and really took the game over in overtime.”For much of the game, it appeared that the contest would never be all that close.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Blue Demons missed their first six shots of the game, allowing Syracuse to jump ahead 8-0, before finally getting a shot to drop more than three minutes into the contest.But the Orange didn’t slow down, and a slick assist by Emily Engstler to Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi with just over a minute left in the first pushed Syracuse to its first double-digit lead of the game, 16-6. On the next trip down the floor, Kiara Lewis one-upped Engstler with flashiness. After sifting through the defense off a Djaldi-Tabdi screen, Lewis was bumped by a DePaul defender. Thinking she was fouled, Lewis threw up an off-balance, one-handed floater from the elbow hoping to draw the call. She didn’t earn the foul but did make the bucket, giving Syracuse an 18-6 lead.The score stayed that way until the end of the period, thanks in part to the Blue Demons’ horrible shooting up to that point. DePaul attempted 15 3-pointers in the first quarter and missed all of them, helping the Orange take control of the game.The second quarter was a different story for the Blue Demons. Kelly Campbell, one of the 20 members of the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list along with Tiana Mangakahia, drained a 3 just 22 seconds into the period. It kicked off a 5-for-8 start from deep by DePaul to start the quarter and allow it to cut the SU lead to 28-25.The Orange tightened up on defense and forced DePaul to miss its last four 3s until halftime. On offense, Miranda Drummond’s third 3 of the game gave SU a 10-point lead with 1:28 left before the break, but four-straight points by the Blue Demons cut the Orange lead to six at the half.Kiara Lewis, pictured earlier this season, hit a circus shot early in the game to help Syracuse. Paul Schlesinger | Staff PhotographerThe second half began similarly to the first, with Syracuse jumping on DePaul early. The Orange built their lead back up to double-digits for the first time since the early second quarter, and with 3:38 left in the third they fouled out the Blue Demons’ Martè Grays. Grays, who was a first-team Big East selection last year, earned a technical foul that allowed SU to jump ahead 51-38.Three baskets later, the Orange had increased their lead to 58-43 with just two minutes to go until the fourth. But when the game appeared to be nearly out of reach for DePaul, it began to knock down shots. An 11-0 run to end the quarter by the Blue Demons trimmed SU’s lead to just four heading into the final period.“I think a lot of times, this game gave us the opportunity to lay down and quit,” Hillsman said. “And our kids definitely didn’t lay down and quit.”For the first two minutes of the fourth, neither teams scored. It wasn’t until the 7:41 mark that DePaul broke the scoreless streak, while Syracuse struggled to get on the board. Thanks to six turnovers to begin the final quarter, SU didn’t even attempt a shot until nearly halfway through the quarter. By the time the Orange finally scored, on a Digna Strautmane jumper with 3:55 left, they found themselves losing 64-60. In the 8:13 of game time that Syracuse failed to score, it committed nine turnovers and missed all nine of its shots.Once the Orange scored, however, the momentum shifted back in their direction. A 10-4 run gave them a 70-68 lead with 17 seconds left when the Blue Demons called two timeouts. Out of the break, DePaul’s game-winning 3-point attempt was off-target, but Ashton Millender grabbed on offensive rebound and converted the putback layup, sending the game into overtime.“It says a lot about our kids,” Hillsman said, “they just fought hard.”Campbell was seemingly the only player unfazed by the extra period and scored six-straight points to Syracuse’s two before Mangakahia began to erupt. Six points of her own helped SU keep pace with the Blue Demons, who battled to a 79-78 lead with two minutes to go. Two more free throws by Campbell pushed DePaul’s lead to three, but her counterpart responded again, draining a 3 to tie the game with 49 seconds left.Chante Stonewall, who scored a game-high 25 points, was fouled by Strautmane with 19 seconds left with a chance to put the Blue Demons ahead. The junior was 10-for-10 from the free throw line this season up until that point but missed both.After Drummond rebounded the second miss, Hillsman called a timeout and drew up a simple play: Give the ball to Mangakahia.“That damn scoop shot,” Hillsman said, “…that won the game for us.”center_img Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *