Gophers WBB to host Syracuse in ACC/Big 10 Challenge

Published 9:36 pm Monday, June 11, 2018

In the first ACC/Big Ten Challenge under new head coach Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota women’s basketball will welcome the Syracuse Orange to Williams Arena on Nov. 29 in the first ever meeting between the schools, it was announced Monday. Game time and television coverage will be announced at a later date.

The Golden Gophers are 4-7 all-time in the event, including a 3-2 mark at home. In its history, Minnesota is 25-17 against teams currently in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with victories in two of its last three games against teams in the league.

Email newsletter signup

Minnesota is coming off a 24-9 season and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The team returns four of its top five leading scorers, 67.3 percent of its scoring, 67.4 percent of its minutes, 68.9 percent of its rebounds, 76.4 percent of its steals and 78.1 percent of its assists.

Highlighting the individuals returning for the Gophers are redshirt senior Kenisha Bell, who was an AP Honorable Mention All-American, a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team honoree and a member of the All-Big Ten Defensive Team, and sophomore Destiny Pitts, who is the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was selected to both the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and the All-Big Ten Second Team (media).

Syracuse was 22-9 overall last year and reached the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in program history. The Orange’s top returner is junior Tiana Mangakahia, who led the country with 9.8 assists per game and 304 assists overall and was a top-10 finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

Mangakahia also was Syracuse’s leader in scoring (17.8 points per game), steals (79) and minutes per game (34.1).