Syracuse edges Vanderbilt, 84-78, at Paradise Jam for 1st 5-0 start in 4 seasons

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 24, 2017 at 7:25 pm Contact Nick: | @nick_a_alvarez Tiana Mangakahia converted a layup with 1:23 in the fourth quarter to put Syracuse up by one. In a game that will be remembered for her passing, the sophomore guard’s last field goal was the go-ahead bucket that triggered a 7-2 run to close out SU’s (5-0) win over Vanderbilt (1-5), 84-78, on Friday night in the Paradise Jam Tournament in Washington, D.C.The point guard set a program single-game record with 17 assists. The previous record, set in 1982 by Libby McNulty, was 15. Mangakahia added 11 points and three rebounds. In five games this season, Mangakahia is averaging a double-double with 13.8 points and 12.2 assists per game.“To have the ball in her hands for 35 minutes and only have two turnovers is amazing,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said of Mangakahia’s performance. “Any time someone has the ball in their hands and is decisive, you have a chance to be successful.”For the first time since the 2013-2014 season, Syracuse has started out 5-0.SU led in most statistical categories, including bench points (20-19), points in the paint (36-22), and steals (9-3).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLeading the charge with Mangakahia was Miranda Drummond. The redshirt junior led SU with 25 points. Drummond was SU’s offense in the first half. Her nine points led the team while her teammates went 9-for-31 from the field. In the final 3:25 of the half, SU didn’t record a basket.That poor shooting continued in the third quarter. After missing its final 10 shots of the first half, SU opened the third quarter with three straight misses en route to a 0-for-13 stretch from the field and part of Syracuse’s struggles came, again, from foul trouble. Freshman forward Digna Strautmane sat the majority of the first half with two fouls.Still, SU entered the second half only down by one, 33-32. Then, Drummond stepped up. She scored SU’s first seven points en route to a 16-point frame. Her offense sparked SU. In the second half, the Orange doubled its number of 3-pointers made. The shooting played a large part on a 17-3 run that spanned 2:38 in the third.“(Drummond) took over,” Hillsman said. “We kept getting deep-corner 3s, and that was the difference in the game.”Syracuse’s dynamite, 31-point third quarter was followed by a fourth in which it shot 4-for-12 in the first five minutes and was unable to pull away. The lead it had built was relinquished when Vanderbilt’s Rachel Bell drilled one of her seven 3-pointers. Bell led all scorers with 31 points and she scored the Commodores last nine points. Her effort was almost enough, but Mangakahia salvaged the win.It was the Orange’s second close contest in as many days. After defeating Wisconsin, SU topped the Commodores for the first time in program history. The three-day tournament ends as Syracuse takes on George Washington.“They just keep grinding and keep fighting” Hillsman said. “As long as they stay aggressive, we have a chance to win basketball games.” Commentslast_img read more