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.
Vorackova sat out the Orange’s first two games as the school waited for the NCAA to make a decision. She was the MVP of the Under-20 FIBA women’s European Championship (B Division).
Texas A&M: visits Arkansas Little Rock on Tuesday. The Aggies are 163-6 against unranked teams since February, 2005.
Syracuse: hosts Bucknell on Sunday where the Orange are 143-41 under Quentin Hillsman.
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