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Syracuse women’s basketball fell four spots to No. 22 in the latest Associated Press rankings after losing to North Carolina 92-68 on Thursday.
The loss was the most points allowed by the Orange since February of 2019. After losing in Chapel Hill, Syracuse bounced back against Boston College, winning 83-70.
Syracuse is one of three ranked Atlantic Coast Conference teams, behind No. 2 Louisville and No. 4 NC State. Neither team changed ranking from last week’s AP poll.
Prior to losing to UNC, Syracuse was up to No. 18 in the polls, its first time inside the top-20 since Nov. 25, 2019.
Against the Tar Heels, Syracuse struggled to defend the perimeter, allowing shooters to find openings in the crevices of head coach Quentin Hillsman’s zone. Once UNC established its shooting prowess, the Heels began to drive into the paint and scored at ease.
Once the buzzer sounded, Syracuse had allowed 14 UNC lay-ups, many off of fast-breaks and sloppy defense in the half court. North Carolina point guard Deja Kelly consistently breezed past perimeter defenders before finding herself wide open as she drove to the hoop. SU help defenders were often late in rotating.
“This is my responsibility,” Hillsman said. “I have to do a better job of coaching our team and getting our team ready to play. When you come out and play like this, and you don’t execute, and you have this kind of effort, that’s about me, that’s not about them.”
Syracuse plays again in its last nonconference game against Morgan State on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. After that, SU has another chance to defeat the Tar Heels in a New Year’s Eve matinee at 2 p.m.
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