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Friday, Jan 05, 2024 at 10:38 am

Physicality Issues Hurt No. 25 Syracuse in 75-51 Road Loss to North Carolina

By Nick Luttrell | @nickluttie
CitrusTV Senior Reporter

In its first game as a ranked team under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, Syracuse fell to the hands of North Carolina, 75-51 inside Carmichael Arena. After the game, both Coach Jack and UNC head coach Courtney Banghart agreed that there was one big difference between their two teams: physicality.

“It was a physical game; most physical game that we played that has just been allowed to play against us all season,” Coach Jack said. “And I was told that our team isn’t physical enough. So you got to take what you got to take.”

The Tar Heels head coach also spiked to the toughness of the Orange.

“We knew that the very first word on the scout was tough. Syracuse is tough. I think I kind of made fun of where they live and said, I mean, they live in northern New York: they have to be tough,” Coach Banghart said. “We knew that toughness was going… That was the first thing we said before we ran out… You can’t ask tough kids to, like, gently move over. You have to go
right at them. Right? And so toughness was one of our major priorities today, not because we were trying to be bullies, but because they’re tough. You have to match that.”

No matter the outcome, Coach Jack said her team learned a lesson in Thursday night’s game.

“So I’ve learned lessons. You know, I tell my players all the time, we don’t lose, we win and we learn. And I certainly know that we’ve learned a lesson that we’re not physical enough and we’re going to go back to the lab and get better,” Coach Jack said.

Another reason for the Orange’s 24-point loss tonight was the way they started the second half: six points was all Syracuse had in the third quarter. Against any opponent, that’s tough to win a basketball game. But if you know anything about this team and head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, you know that they’re leaving this arena with their heads held high and they’ll try to get back on the winning path Sunday night against Boston College.