ANN ARBOR, MI (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) – An overtime thriller in Ann Arbor, Mich. ended with a 84-76 Orange loss to No. 24 Michigan Thursday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The contest saw 12 lead changes and a quartet of Orange scoring double-digits, but a late-game rally by the Wolverines gave ‘Cuse its third consecutive loss. Syracuse is back in action Sunday when UMBC comes to the Carrier Dome.
“They trapped us a few times but we just can’t implode like that,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We could’ve gotten some better spacing, but at the end of the day we have to give them a lot of credit. They have an active physical player on the ball, and as a point guard you cant let that player get into your body and force you to make decisions. We have to dictate the decisions.”
Sophomore Emily Engstler set a career record for blocks after swatting away five shots. She also scored 10 points, broke the 10-rebound mark for the fifth time this season, and tied her career assist mark tonight (six). This was Engstler’s fifth double-double of the year.
Freshman Teisha Hyman was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in 12 minutes.
The Orange limited the Wolverines to just one trey in the first half of the game.
Junior Digna Strautmane was the first Orange to hit double digits on the night after going 4-for-5 from the field, and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc before the halfway mark of the third quarter. Joining her with 10+ points on the night were junior Amaya Finklea-Guity and redshirt junior Kiara Lewis.
Finklea-Guity also flirted with a double-double, recording seven boards.
Strautmane hit back-to-back shots from the charity stripe with five seconds to go to send the game to overtime.
Michigan outscored Syracuse 13-5 in overtime to seal the comeback victory.
How it happened:
The game was tight from the start as both teams went point-for-point through the first quarter, either side never leading by more than three until ‘Cuse took a 19-15 lead eight minutes into the first quarter. The Orange’s outside threats made their presence known early and often as they rained down trey after trey, Syracuse outshooting Michigan 5-0 from behind the arc in the opening stanza. After 10 minutes of play, the Wolverines held a slim 22-21 lead.
The score stayed tight through the second quarter, Syracuse and Michigan continuing their sing-song game throughout the period.
The Orange took the largest lead of the game up to that point with two minutes until halftime when an Engstler layup, Lewis jumper and Strautmane trey gave them a 37-32 lead. That push came in the middle of a 13-6 Syracuse run that ultimately sent the Orange to the locker room up 41-36 at the half. Michigan was limited to just one 3-pointer in the opening 20 minutes, and freshman Teisha Hyman was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc for a team-high nine points.
The third stanza opened with the Wolverines closing the gap off a string of Syracuse misfires. After the Maize and Blue’s quarter-opening layup, they added two more from free throws off a personal foul from Strautmane. ‘Cuse then missed four straight shots before Amaya Finklea-Guity sank a layup plus-1 to make things 44-40 Syracuse. Her three points ignited a 12-5 run for the Orange who took 53-45 lead off a string of threes from Strautmane and Engstler, the former putting drilling two to the latter’s one. The lead didn’t hold as the Wolverines fought back once again and set up a 59-52 fourth quarter, Syracuse still in the lead.
Michigan opened the fourth with three points, but back-to-back treys from the Orange gave Syracuse a healthy 10-point, 65-55, lead. Michigan then responded with an 8-1 tear to make things 66-63 Syracuse with five minutes to go.
Michigan kept the pressure on and took a 71-69 lead with 30 seconds to go. A Wolverine foul in the dying seconds sent Strautmane to the charity stripe, and the junior calmly sank both shots to send the game to overtime.
Strautmane’s heroics were in vain as Syracuse was outshot 13-5 in overtime, ultimately losing 84-76.
Syracuse returns home on Dec. 8 to host UMBC for Doggy Day at 2 p.m. Tickets for the game start at $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 12. Fans who cannot attend the game can watch it live on ACC Network Extra.