ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Tiana Mangakahia scored 13 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to rally No. 15 Syracuse to a 57-52 victory over Central Florida at the St. Pete Shootout on Saturday night.
Mangakahia scored the final 11 points for Syracuse (11-2) after Miranda Drummond buried a 3-pointer to pull the Orange even at 46-all with 7:31 left. Mangakahia was 9 for 9 at the foul line in the final quarter. Drummond and Digna Strautmane finished with 10 points apiece for Syracuse. Drummond was just 2 of 13 from 3-point range but ran her streak with at least one 3-pointer to 23 straight games.
Kayla Thigpen, Masseny Kaba and Korneila Wright all scored 11 to pace the Knights (10-2), who are off to their best start since the 1984-85 season.
Thigpen scored seven straight points, hitting four free throws and adding a 3-pointer, to give UCF a 15-9 first-quarter lead. The Orange found their range in the second quarter, scoring 20 points and taking a 29-27 lead into intermission on an Isis Young 3-pointer.
Sydnee McDonald buried a 3-pointer to open the third quarter, sparking a 7-0 run that put the Knights up 34-29. Syracuse didn't score until Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi hit a jumper at the 4:48 mark. Kiara Lewis had a basket with a second left to pull the Orange within 44-41.
Mangakahia, who averages 7.6 assists per game, had eight against the Knights.