NCAA News Wire

Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Guard Trevor Cooney scored 18 points and made 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range as third-seeded Syracuse pummeled 14th-seeded Western Michigan 77-53 on Thursday in an NCAA Tournament game at First Niagara Center.

The Orange (28-5) advance to a third-round game on Saturday against 11th-seeded Dayton, which upset sixth-seeded Ohio State 60-59 in the thrilling opening game.

Forward C.J. Fair had a double-double for Syracuse with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore center Jerami Grant scored 16 points and freshman point guard Tyler Ennis added 16 points and six assists.

Western Michigan (23-10) was led by forward Tucker Haymond’s 11 points. Senior guard David Brown, the Broncos’ leading scorer, managed nine points — 10 below his scoring average.

Syracuse (28-5) jumped to a 17-4 lead before a partisan, orange-clad crowd. The arena is just 2 1/2 hours from Syracuse’s campus.

Four dunks by Syracuse 6-foot-8 sophomore center Jerami Grant set the tone in the first half. The Orange forced 11 turnovers in the opening 15 minutes and took a 40-21 lead into halftime.

Grant was slowed late in the season by back spasms, missing the Orange’s upset loss to Georgia Tech on March 4, but showed Thursday that he is healthy again.

Cooney entered the game in a 10-for-51 funk from 3-point range. Not coincidentally, Syracuse limped to a 2-5 finish after a 25-0 start that put the Orange on top of the national polls.

Grant’s one-handed monster dunk with 15:23 remaining gave Syracuse a 50-28 lead. That came after Cooney nailed a long-range 3-pointer while being fouled. The sophomore made the free throw for the rare four-point play.

Cooney was taken out with Syracuse ahead 52-30 with 13:53 remaining. He returned five minutes later.

Syracuse outrebounded Western Michigan 39-25.

Western Michigan came in winners of 12 of its last 13, including a 98-77 romp over Toledo in the Mid-American Conference tournament championship game last weekend.

NOTES: Syracuse improved to 61-36 in 36 NCAA appearances. The Orange have reached the Final Four five times (four under Jim Boeheim), winning the national championship in 2003. … Western Michigan’s Steve Hawkins is in his 11th season, making him the most-tenured coach in the Mid-American Conference. One of his first jobs was as chauffeur for legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. … Western Michigan senior G David Brown led the MAC in scoring for all but a few days this season. He entered Thursday’s game averaging 19.4 points and was coming off a 32-point game in the MAC tournament final against Toledo, a career-high performance that netted him tournament MVP honors. … Syracuse has lost to a double-digit seed four times in NCAA history: No. 12 Texas A&M in 2006, No. 13 Vermont in 2005, No. 15 Richmond in 1991 and No. 11 Rhode Island in 1988. On Saturday, the Orange face 11th-seeded Dayton.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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