SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Tyus Battle scored a career-high 28 points, including 23 in the second half, two other Syracuse players scored in double figures and the Orange defeated Iona 71-62 on Tuesday.
Frank Howard had 15 points and Oshae Brissett chipped in with 12 for Syracuse (2-0). Paschal Chukwu had 10 rebounds.
Rickey McGill led Iona (0-2) with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. The Gaels hit 10 3s in the game.
Buckets by Brissett and Battle gave Syracuse its largest lead, 36-28 with a little more than 18 minutes to play, but the Gaels answered on two consecutive 3s by McGill in a 33-second span. The Orange regained an eight-point lead on two other occasions, but Syracuse couldn't shake the Gaels, who were kept in the game by McGill's 5-of-9 shooting from 3.
Consecutive jumpers by Battle, a free throw by Bourama Sidibe and offensive rebound and put-back basket by Marek Dolezaj pushed Syracuse's margin to 63-54. Another Battle jumper and a second put back by Dolezaj extended the margin to 67-57.
Both teams struggled to hit a shot in the early going, with each going nearly five minutes between field goals. Syracuse took an early 12-5 lead, five points coming from Battle, but the Gaels stormed back on 10-1 run to take a 15-13 lead midway through the first half. McGill fueled the comeback with seven points on two 3-pointers and a free throw.
Howard led Syracuse with 10 first-half points, followed by Battle's eight. McGill had 11 to lead Iona. The Orange hit 12-of-28 from the field in the first half and held Iona to just 10-of-30 shooting. The Gaels hit five from beyond the arc, three by McGill.
Frank Howard scored on a driving layup at the buzzer to give Syracuse a 32-28 at intermission.
Syracuse's seven-game, season-opening home stand continues Saturday against Texas Southern.