BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKTV) - Four Syracuse players scored in double figures in Syracuse's NCAA Tournament second round 77-53 victory against Western Michigan.
The third-seeded Orange jumped out to a 17-4 lead just eight minutes into the game and maintained the double-digit advantage for the rest of the game.
Sophomores Trevor Cooney and Jerami Grant paced the Orange with 18 and 16 points, respectively. The Orange dominated the glass, pulling down 43 rebounds to Western Michigan's 26, including 11 by C.J. Fair. The senior leader also scored 14 points. Freshman guard Tyler Ennis scored 16 points and added six assists and two steals.
Syracuse (28-4 overall) will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday in Buffalo. The Flyers beat No. 6 seed Ohio State, 60-59.
The Orange improved to 26-5 in NCAA Tournament opening round games under the direction of head coach Jim Boeheim, who earned his 53rd NCAA Tournament victory. Syracuse never trailed in the game. The Orange turned a 19-point halftime lead into a 24-point victory. The 77 points is the sixth-highest point total for the 'Cuse this season.
Syracuse enjoyed its largest lead of the game, 71-43, on a traditionally three-point play by Ennis with 3:54 left to play. Grant scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half. Every Syracuse player entered the game. Freshman Ron Patterson led all reserves, scoring six points in four minutes of action in the second half.
In the first half, Ennis broke a 2-2 tie with a jumper which sparked the Orange on a 15-2 run over a span of six minutes that gave SU a 17-4 lead. Cooney converted two three-pointers during the run and Ennis had four points. Four straight points by Western Michigan cut the lead to eight, but Syracuse continued to extend its advantage and five straight points by Ennis gave Syracuse a 20-point advantage at 33-13. Cooney and Fair combined for the final five points of the half to give the Orange a 40-21 lead at intermission. It was Syracuse's largest advantage at the break since Feb. 3 when it led Notre Dame by 13. Cooney led the Orange with 12 first-half points, while Ennis had 11.