SYRACUSE — Tyus Battle scored 22 points, including 10 in a row and 16 in the second half, and Paschal Chukwu had a career-high 15 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks to lead Syracuse to a 62-47 win over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night.
Battle had just six points on 1-of-6 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point range, in the first half, but heated up in the second, hitting 6-of-9 field-goal attempts and 3-of-4 3-pointers to lead the Orange (11-2). Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett had 11 points each.
Elijah Minnie led Eastern Michigan (8-4) with 13 points. James Thompson IV added 12.
The game was tied at 26-all when Howard and Battle went to work. After Chukwu hit two free throws, Howard scored the next five on a layup and 3-pointer and Battle scored the next 10 for the Orange, hitting back-to-back 3s, a layup and a jumper to give Syracuse a 43-36 lead with 11:30 to go. Eastern Michigan scored the next five but Syracuse closed the game on a 19-6 run, including six more from Battle. The Orange shot 52 percent from the field after intermission.
Syracuse was as cold as the minus-1 wind chill outdoors in the first half, shooting just 24 percent. The Orange jumped out to a 5-0 lead but the Eagles went on an 11-0 run that included six points by Thompson. Syracuse went more than eight minutes without a field goal but stayed in the game on the strength of 12-of-15 free throws. Syracuse was 5 of 21 from the field, including 2 of 12 from beyond the arc, and scored half of its points at the line. Chukwu led the Orange with seven points.
Somehow, the game was tied at 24 after 20 minutes.
Thompson led the Eagles with eight points and Elijah Minnie chipped in with seven.
Eastern Michigan hung tough but was outgunned by a more athletic team. Nothing to be ashamed of but the Eagles have just one day to regroup for a game Friday.
Syracuse heated up in the second half but must improve its perimeter game if Jim Boeheim's club is to do any damage in the ACC.
Eastern Michigan hosts Rochester Friday.
Syracuse begins ACC play at home Sunday against Virginia Tech.