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North Carolina 93 - Syracuse 83: Five Big Takeaways

Let's talk about last night's game again. Sorry.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange suffered its second straight loss and its third in four games on Monday, falling 93-83 to the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Here are five takeaways:

1. In the second half, the Orange looked tired.

Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney both played the full 40 minutes on Monday, while Michael Gbinije and Tyler Roberson each played 35-plus minutes. That came just two days after all four played the entire 40 minutes in the loss to Miami. Late in the second half last night, Syracuse looked like a fatigued team, and it showed on the scoreboard. The Tar Heels, who played eight different players for at least eight minutes, simply had fresher legs down the stretch. At least partially because of that, North Carolina outscored Syracuse 13-5 in the game's final five minutes.

2. North Carolina dominated Syracuse on the glass.

North Carolina controlled the glass throughout Monday's game, finishing with a 42-27 edge in rebounding. The Tar Heels also grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, a number of which they turned into second-chance points. UNC had an obvious size advantage over Syracuse, but the Orange will have a difficult time winning many games if it can't get better results on the boards.

3. For one night, Kaleb Joseph regressed.

Kaleb Joseph finished last night with just four assists and five turnovers, the most he's had since committing eight turnovers against Louisiana Tech in December. He hadn't turned the ball over more than twice in a game since he turned the ball over four times in a loss at Villanova on December 20. Clearly, Joseph needs to be better than that for Syracuse to win games like last night's.

4. Trevor Cooney: scoring inefficiently.

Trevor Cooney scored a team-high 28 points on Monday, topping the 20-point plateau for the fifth time this season. But Cooney needed 26 shots to rack up those points. Especially in the second half, he took a number of off-balance shots and a few others with defenders draped over him. Cooney's undoubtedly one of this team's better scorers, but he'll need to figure out ways to score more efficiently than he did last night.

5. Christmas, Roberson roll again.

One game after combining for 33 points and 22 rebounds, Rakeem Christmas and Tyler Roberson were enforcers for the Orange once again on Monday. The two combined to go 12-of-21 from the field, scoring 35 points. They also accounted for 15 of Syracuse's 27 rebounds and for six of the team's 10 steals. Christmas has consistently been SU's best player all season long, but if Roberson can keep playing at this level, the Orange should stay in most games.