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Syracuse women's basketball looks to bounce back in ACC play against NC State

Teisha Hyman (#4) takes a jump shot over Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith
Teisha Hyman in Syracuse’s game against Louisville.

After picking up its first ACC loss, Syracuse women's basketball looks to bounce back against NC State. WAER's Emily Shiroff previews the showdown between the Orange and the No. 6 Wolfpack.

After falling to Louisville to pick up their first ACC loss of the year, Syracuse women's basketball is looking to bounce back against the 11-2 NC State Wolfpack.

Syracuse previously beat Wake Forest to kick off the conference schedule but was not able to get past Louisville’s suffocating defense Thursday night. The Orange ended up losing by just nine points.

Teisha Hyman put up her best performance of the season against the Cardinals, finishing the game with 27 points and four assists. Dyaisha Fair managed to get into double digits, but was not as explosive a scorer as she has been in previous contests. She finished the game with 13 points, five assists and four steals.

Louisville posed a unique threat to the Orange, as it made a deep run in the NCAA tournament last season. NC State was also an elite team last year. It was a one seed in the tournament and made a run all the way to the elite eight, eventually falling to UConn, who lost in the championship.

While NC State is currently the sixth-ranked team in the nation, the Wolfpack come into their matchup in the Dome after a 72-58 loss against unranked Duke. Like the Orange, they are 1-1 in ACC play, having beat Clemson as well.

The Wolfpack offense is led by Diamond Johnson, who is averaging just under 14 points per game this season. Johnson also leads the team in assists, recording just under four per game this year.

It is worth noting that no single player on NC State averages over 30 minutes per game. Syracuse, a team that relies on its bench players for quality minutes, still has two players averaging over 30 minutes. Dyaisha Fair and Teisha Hyman, the two leading scorers for SU, are averaging 34.3 and 30.5 minutes per game, respectively.

This means that NC State has plenty of bench options that will keep their starters fresh for the duration of the game. Also, being a team with a high-power offense, the Orange defense will have their work cut out for them if they hope to tack on another conference win.

Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack has stated multiple times that her squad is a rebounding team. They were heavily outrebounded against Louisville but also lacked the size advantage they had enjoyed in most of their games this season.

All of NC State’s players can rebound. No player averages over six rebounds per game, with seven averaging at least four. Syracuse, on the other hand, relies heavily on their bigs to do the majority of the rebounding. Dariauna Lewis and Asia Strong are averaging 10 and 6.3 rebounds per game, respectively. Aside from Teisha Hyman (who averages just over five rebounds per game), no Orange player averages over five.

NC State is an elite team with lots of talent to pull from. Syracuse has to prepare to face many players in a variety of lineups. Preparing to face so many different players could be tough, but it is essential if the Orange want to win.

To combat this, Syracuse’s bench will have to be ready to play quality, productive minutes. Asia Strong and Cheyenne McEvans have been playing very well as of late, something they must continue to do on New Year’s Day at the Dome.

Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. in the JMA Wireless Dome. The game will be broadcast on YES Network.