Syracuse cruises to 105-57 win over Eastern Michigan
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Syracuse has made a habit of feasting on lesser opponents this season. That trend continued Monday night, so it was difficult to gauge just where Jim Boeheim's team is with just two games to go before the start of ACC play.
''We made some shots tonight. We're still making some mistakes we want to eliminate,'' Boeheim said.
Eight Orange players scored in double figures and Syracuse cruised to a 105-57 victory over Eastern Michigan.
Syracuse (7-4) shot 59 percent from the field, including a season-high 15-of-28 from beyond the arc. The Orange had 34 assists on its 37 baskets and assisted on all 19 field goals in the first half. Frank Howard had 10 points and 11 assists. Backcourt mate John Gillon had 14 points and nine assists.
Tyus Battled had 18 points to lead the Orange, Andrew White III scored 14, and Dajuan Coleman added 12. Taurean Thompson had 11, and Tyler Roberson had 10.
Tyler Lydon had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in the first 16 minutes before leaving the game with a strained Achilles. Boeheim said he didn't know if Lydon would be available Wednesday against St. John's.
''We don't have any more leeway to lose so we're just going to approach it with that mentality. This is just one game in the right direction. No disrespect to that team but these haven't necessarily been the games that have determined what we'll be as a team,'' White said. ''We're 7-4. It's not where we wanted to be.''
White was brutally honest when asked if his team was ready for ACC play, which starts New Year's Day.
''Today we're not because our record doesn't show anything that would determine us to be a good team in the ACC right now, so luckily we have two games to get ready. We have a lot of work to do but we can be ready by ACC play if we choose to.''
Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy was a bit more impressed.
''This was a huge step for them, losing four out of their last six, and then to win a game like this builds confidence. Syracuse is going to be a good basketball team moving forward.''
Quaran Jones led the Eagles (6-5) with 12 points. Jordan Nobles had 11 and 10 rebounds for his first-career double-double, while Willie Magnum IV scored 10.
The Orange raced to a 52-24 halftime lead on 19-of-32 shooting from the field, including eight 3-pointers.
Syracuse freshmen Thompson and Battle came off the bench and combined for 21 first-half points.
Eastern Michigan, which entered the game shooting 47 percent from the field and averaging 84.8 points a game, shot 35 percent.
Eastern Michigan was sloppy Monday, committing a season-high 20 turnovers, many of which were unforced.
Syracuse continued its pattern of beating up on lesser opponents.
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles three leading scorers were held below their season averages. Willie Mangum IV (17.5) had 10; Ray Lee (17.4) scored just two; James Thompson IV (15.6) managed four.Head coach Rob Murphy spent seven seasons as an assistant under Jim Boeheim.Entering Monday's game the Eagles were fifth in the country with 117 steals, and second in steals per game at 12.6.
Syracuse: Tyus Battle hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.Andrew White was 4 of 8 from behind the arc.White has scored in double figures in all of Syracuse's games.Taurean Thompson had five assists, several of the no-look variety. Frank Howard leads the ACC in assists.
Eastern Michigan hosts Marygrove College Thursday.
Syracuse hosts former Big East rival St. John's Wednesday.
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