Strong second-half surge leads Syracuse past EMU

This was the final non-ACC game for the Orange

Coming off a home loss to St. Bonaventure last Friday, Syracuse (11-2) bounced back to beat Eastern Michigan (8-4) 62-47 Wednesday night.

The Orange squared off against former Syracuse assistant coach Rob Murphy and the Eagles. The two teams last met Dec. 19, 2016, when the Orange won 105-57.

The Orange offense had a tough time attacking the 2-3 zone of Eastern Michigan early and trailed by seven before point guard Frank Howard knocked down his first from beyond the arc to shift momentum Syracuse’s way.

The Orange regained the lead at the six-minute mark of the first half and never trailed after that. Syracuse shot 13-26 from the field, and outscored EMU by 15 in the second half.

With 4:22 remaining in the second half, Tyus Battle drained a three-point shot to give the Orange a 58-43 advantage to ice the victory. He scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half.

Center Paschal Chukwu had a career-high 15 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five blocks. He shot 9-11 from the free throw line, much different from his 46.4 percentage for the season. He also played 37 minutes as the Orange center. Freshman Bourama Sidibe did not play this game as he is currently dealing with a knee injury. After the game, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim suggested Sidibe may be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Frank Howard handled the ball well once again, finishing with 11 points, seven assists, and four steals.

You know Frank and Tyus got to drive the ship. [Frank] made some really good plays in the second half, getting in the lane. That’s a tough defense,” Boeheim said.

Forward Oshae Brissett added 11 points and 12 rebounds. This was the freshman's seventh triple-double of the season.

When asked about the team’s non-conference victories, Boeheim said, “We puled out some games that could have gone the other way. This team has showed a lot of determination, a lot of grit… we’re going to have to shoot it better but these guys are playing hard. That’s all I can ask for.”

Next up, the Orange begin ACC play in the Carrier Dome against Virginia Tech on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m.

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