From left, Syracuse Orange forward Digna Strautmane (45), NC Say Wolfpack center Elissa Cunane (33) and NC Say Wolfpack forward Jakia Brown-Turner (11) vie for a rebound in an NCAA school basketball game in Syracuse N.Y., Feb 28, 2021. (Dennis Nett/The Put up-Current by capability of AP)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — North Carolina Say obtained its frequent-season finale, but this time it wasn’t so easy.
Elissa Cunane had 17 components and nine rebounds, Jada Boyd added 16 components and 10 boards and the second-ranked Wolfpack held off Syracuse 68-61 on Sunday for his or her fifth consecutive desire.
N.C. Say took a 51-38 lead into the fourth quarter but watched it go in a flash because the Orange went on a 20-4 speed and seemed poised for the upset on Senior Day. Cunane’s 3-level play gave N.C. Say the lead aid, 60-58, with factual over two minutes to play and Boyd’s put together within the final minute after one among Syracuse’s 11 blocks helped seal the desire.
North Carolina Say had obtained its old four games by 19 components or extra.
“It used to be a rough day to me,” N.C. Say coach Wes Moore talked about. “That’s what it’s all about. You could maybe perhaps hold gotten staunch days, you are going to hold tainted days. We did the tiny issues and chanced on an answer to desire.”
The Wolfpack (17-2, 12-2 Atlantic Streak Convention) handed Syracuse (12-7, 9-7) its first loss of the season within the Carrier Dome.
The game had particular assembly for each and each groups on yarn of it used to be allotment of the Play4Kay campaign. The Orange donned purple uniforms to honor extinct N.C. Say coach Kay Yow, who died in 2009 after a 22-12 months fight with breast most cancers. It also marked the significant time Orange enormous name guard Tiana Mangakahia wore the purple uniform since she used to be identified with breast most cancers in June 2019 and uncared for all of closing season after a bilateral mastectomy and quite loads of different rounds of chemotherapy.
Sooner than tipoff, the Wolfpack introduced Mangakahia with a trophy for courage, and even supposing her final home game didn’t turn out the contrivance she had hoped, the 25-12 months-extinct Australian used to be touched.
“It’s factual been this kind of journey,” Mangakahia talked about. “I factual felt grateful. It used to be emotional, reflecting on what I went by and factual pondering the total folk which could maybe perhaps perhaps be going by what I had to battle by. I factual desired to play exhausting. I didn’t hold my handiest game but used to be thankful that I could maybe perhaps perhaps play.”
Mangakahia entered the sport averaging 7.6 assists to lead the nation and completed with 5 to set up her occupation total to 726 assists in three seasons. Kiara Lewis led the Orange with 29 components and Mangakahia had 10.
After a tight first half that noticed neither team of workers lead by greater than 5 components, the Wolfpack keep together a 13-0 speed that broke a 36-all tie and keep them reputedly in show. Cunane started it with a pair of free throws, Raina Perez followed with a 3-level play off a instant spoil and Jakia Brown-Turner scored on a instant-spoil layup for a 43-36 lead leisurely within the third quarter.
Consecutive 3-level plays by freshman center Kamilla Cardoso and Priscilla Williams keyed the leisurely Orange spurt because the Wolfpack went cool against the press. Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi’s layup with 6: 11 left pulled the Orange to inner 53-49 and Lewis followed with a layup and a 3 from the left cruise to present Syracuse the lead.
Boyd’s brief baseline jumper, Cunane’s 3-level play and Boyd’s layup within the final minute gave N.C. Say a 62-58 lead, and Perez hit six free throws in a row within the final minute, ending with 11 components, six assists and nil turnovers.
The game pitted North Carolina Say’s 6-foot-5 Cunane against the Orange’s 6-7 freshman center Cardoso (14.9). Syracuse’s leading scorer used to be held scoreless sooner than halftime, missing all three footage, and played factual 7 minutes sooner than halftime after deciding on up two early fouls. Cardoso completed with a season-low three components on 1-of-5 shooting but snared 10 rebounds.
N.C. Say could maybe perhaps perhaps aloof hold its rating, having held off a team of workers that used to be ranked early within the season.
North Carolina Say: The Wolfpack beat Louisville 74-60 on Feb. 1, when Cunane scored 16 components in her first game in as regards to a month thanks to COVID-19 protocols. The Wolfpack hold tons of offensive alternate suggestions, which gives them the aptitude for big outbursts at any moment. N.C. Say aloof has a chance to edge Louisville, which played later Sunday, for the top seed within the ACC Tournament.
Syracuse: The Orange thought they had been underrated at No. 23 within the preseason AP Top 25, but after two straight losses closing month dropped them out of the rankings altogether, they’ve no longer been in a bunch to claw their contrivance aid. Mangakahia is hopeful of making a postseason speed to cap her occupation, and with Cardoso within the heart and Lewis within the backcourt, they rep a dynamic trio that can trigger tons of problems.
North Carolina Say: Performs in ACC Tournament.
Syracuse: Performs in ACC Tournament.
Extra AP school basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-school-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25