Syracuse outbattles Eastern Michigan
Syracuse overcame an ice-cold shooting half behind a scoring outburst by sophomore Tyus Battle, and the Orange protected its home floor against Eastern Michigan with a 62-47 victory Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Stagnant offense and ball-watching led Syracuse (11-2) to shoot 5 of 21 in the first half. The Orange missed their first seven attempts from behind the arc as the Eagles (8-4) defended well enough to take a 24-24 tie into halftime.
Battle scored 16 of his 22 points after intermission, starting with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Syracuse a 39-32 lead. Battle quickly added four more points to keep the Orange up 43-36.
Syracuse made 20 out of 26 free throws compared to 4 of 6 for Eastern Michigan. The Orange was in the bonus over the final 9:23 of the game. Eastern Michigan was called for 19 personal fouls against seven for Syracuse.
Paschal Chukwu, a career 48.7 percent free-throw shooter, made 9 of 11 foul shots in a career-high 15 point performance for Syracuse. Chukwu added 12 rebounds, five blocks and two steals.
The Eagles got back within 43-41 on a 3-pointer by Terry Harris following a turnover by Chukwu. It was one of only three made treys for the Eagles. Eastern Michigan shot 33 percent in the second half and could not keep up once Syracuse turned the corner.
Elijah Minnie scored 13 points for Eastern Michigan. James Thompson IV finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Paul Jackson had 10 points.
Oshae Brissett had 11 points and 12 boards, and Frank Howard finished with 11 points and seven assists for Syracuse. It was the Orange’s final tune-up before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play against Virginia Tech in the Carrier Dome on New Year’s Eve.
The Eagles play host to Rochester College on Friday.