Kiara Lewis to play at Syracuse for final year of eligibility

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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm Contact David: [email protected] All-ACC first team point guard Kiara Lewis will return to Syracuse next season, a source confirmed to The Daily Orange on Tuesday. As a graduate student, the 2020-21 season will be Lewis’ final year of college eligibility.Lewis led the Orange in points (17.6), assists (five) and minutes (37.6) per game and was a two-time College Sports Madness national player of the week in 2019-20. She played 40 minutes or more in 12 of SU’s 31 games, including eight of the final 13 contests in the regular season. Lewis was the only Syracuse player to average more than 10 points per game. Despite SU failing to meet its usual standards last season — the Orange finished just a game over .500 and were set to miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 — Lewis’ play was a bright spot. She was the catalyst in Syracuse’s wins over then-No. 8 Florida State and then-No. 5 Louisville in the Carrier Dome. As SU’s primary ball-handler and shot-taker, Lewis was the pulse of the Orange’s offense. When she didn’t play well, neither did Syracuse. When Lewis scored a season-low two points against Virginia on Feb. 2, SU totaled just 41 points, its lowest mark in over a decade. During Syracuse’s five-game win streak that surged it from tenth to sixth in the conference standings, Lewis averaged 20 points per game.After Tiana Mangakahia announced she would miss the 2019-20 season on Aug. 1, 2019 amid her battle with breast cancer, Lewis was thrust into the starting point guard role. The Chicago native sat out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules then played behind Mangakahia in 2018-19. Next season, Lewis and Mangakahia will likely be the Orange’s two starting guards.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re going to have a very explosive guard tandem with Kiki and Tiana,” SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said on Feb. 26.  “You can pick your poison on any night.”Along with Mangakahia’s return, the Orange will add six incoming freshmen to the roster next season, including 5-star recruits Kamilla Cardoso and Priscilla Williams. Cardoso, the No. 5 overall recruit according to the espnW 100, is a 6-foot-6 forward with “court vision like a guard that can run like a deer,” SU assistant coach DeLisha Milton-Jones said on Jan. 29. Among Syracuse’s other incoming recruits are guards Faith Blackstone, Khamya McNeal, Laura Salmeron and Kiara Fisher.The Orange will lose Gabrielle Cooper, Elemy Colomé, Whisper Fisher and Brooke Alexander to graduation. Cooper started all 31 of SU’s games in the backcourt alongside Lewis in 2019-20 and recorded the second-most minutes per game (36.7) on the team. Commentslast_img

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