Women's Basketball v Drexel

Orange make up for last season's defeat, beat Drexel to remain undefeated

This was Coach Quentin Hillsman's 250 win for Syracuse.

After a slow first half, the Orange turned it on in the final two periods to beat Drexel 72-62.

Syracuse (10-0) struggled in the first two quarters of play against the Dragons (6-4). Megan Marecic was on fire for Drexel in the first half, scoring 15 points on five 3-pointers.

Aside from scoring, the Dragons limited their turnover count to 12 in the first half against the tough full-court press of the Orange. Coach Quentin Hillsman attributed the Dragons’ discipline to good coaching.

Photo: Riley Bunch
Freshman Digna Strautmane shoots the ball against Drexel on Dec. 9.

“They’re just a very good team. They’re well-coached and they run good scheme. The things they run against our zone really challenged all our principles,” said Hillsman.

The Drexel offense gave Syracuse plenty of problems throughout the first half. The Dragons outscored the Orange in both of the first two quarters and went into the locker room with an 8-point lead.

The second half was much different for Syracuse. The Orange outscored the Dragons 21-8 in the third quarter and were led by Digna Strautmane, Tiana Mangakahia, and Miranda Drummond on offense.

“We started moving the ball a lot better, driving and kicking, and just finding open shooters,” said Drummond. The redshirt junior finished with 17 points on just nine shots.

However, it wasn’t Drummond that led the Orange in scoring. Strautmane scored 19 points, nine of them in the third quarter, to lift Syracuse to a win.

Sophomore guard Mangakahia played well for the Orange, posting a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists. On one of the signature plays of the game, Mangakahia drove into the paint, pump-faked a defender, and hit a fall-away jumper. The motivation for the move came from a moment earlier in the game.

“In the third quarter, I went up and got completely blocked,” said Mangakahia. “So, the next time I went to drive I knew they were going to try to block me.”

The intelligent play by Mangakahia pushed the rest of the Syracuse team. The Orange outscored the Dragons 18-13 in the fourth quarter to close out the game and move to 10-0.

The Orange have Coastal Carolina next as they attempt to remain undefeated. The game is at Myrtle Beach and the game is at 6:30 p.m. 

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