Women's basketball crashes out of ACC tournament to Virginia Tech

Syracuse didn't score a field goal in the fourth quarter.

A second-half shooting slump prevented Syracuse from winning its opening ACC tournament game versus Virginia Tech, as the Hokies won 85-70.

In a repeat from Feb. 1 when the Hokies defeated the Orange in the Carrier Dome, both teams were looking to win an opening game and help their potential chance to reach the NCAA tournament. If the Orange were going to win the game, they'd need to hit shots from beyond the arc.

Sophomore guard Tiana Mangakahia ran most of the offense to begin the game. On the opening possession, she found two passes for open 3-pointer attempts. However, the shots didn't fall.

The Orange made one of its opening eight threes in the first quarter. This replicated the previous matchup, until the end of the quarter when Isis Young and Miranda Drummond hit threes to increase Syracuse's lead to six.

A three from Virginia Tech's Aisha Sheppard cut the lead in half at the end of the first quarter, 25-22. The Orange found separation in the second quarter by going on a 23-12 run during the period. Scoring came in all different ways for the Orange: consecutive threes from freshman forward Digna Strautmane and dribble drives by Drummond.

Syracuse looked in control at halftime, leading 48-34. But the Hokies were not done. Led by point guard Taylor Emery, the Hokies clawed their way back into the game. In the third quarter, Virginia Tech scored 22 points while holding Syracuse to 17.

The real difference-maker of the game came in the fourth quarter, with the Orange up 65-56. Free throws by Rachel Camp and a pair of by threes by Sheppard and Emery made it a one-point game. Syracuse forced threes onto Young, where she came up empty during the run. Virginia Tech took the lead with a floater by Emery, and the junior guard found Shepperd in the corner for a three to make it a 69-65 lead.

The Hokies would not stop there. The buckets continued to fall for Virginia Tech, while Syracuse kept trying to shoot out of the team slump. The Orange did not score from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter, going 0-9. Virginia Tech made its free throws down the stretch to increase its lead to 85-70.

The Orange will now wait its fait in the NCAA tournament, which they will find out next week.

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