WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Tiana Mangakahia scored 26 points and No. 18 Syracuse beat 20th-ranked Texas A&M 75-65 on Wednesday night.
Trailing by one at the half, Syracuse (2-1) scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to open up a 47-35 lead. The Orange extended the lead to 16 late in the period and had a 13-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
Texas A&M (2-1) was down by 15 midway through the fourth quarter, but the Aggies started to press fullcourt and that rattled the Orange. The Aggies got within 71-65 with 1:27 left, but could get no closer as Syracuse made all four of its free throws in the final 39 seconds to seal the win.
Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Syracuse.
Chennedy Carter finished the game with 18 points for Texas A&M before fouling out with 38.7 seconds left.
The game, which was played in Westchester at the home of the New York Liberty, tipped off a four-day stretch where Syracuse teams were playing in the New York City area. The men’s basketball team is playing at Madison Square Garden in a tournament on Thursday and Friday. The football team is playing Notre Dame on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The first 20 minutes was a back-and-forth contest with Texas A&M holding a 35-34 lead at the break. Carter had 15 points in the opening half. Mangakahia had nine for the Orange.
The two teams will play again next year in Houston. … Texas A&M arrived in New York on Monday and coach Gary Blair let his players walk around Times Square for a few hours to experience the city. … The first foul call on Texas A&M wasn’t until 23 seconds into the third quarter. … Syracuse outrebounded Texas A&M 52-31.
Syracuse’s Veronika Vorackova will have to sit out the season after the NCAA ruled she had played for a team in the Czech Republic that considers itself to be professional. The freshman guard will still have three season of eligibility remaining. The school announced the NCAA’s decision Monday.