Men's College Basketball
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Syracuse dominates Western Michigan in NCAA opener

Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Cooney led Syracuse with 18 points while shooting 4-for-8 from beyond the arc, as the Orange posted a 77-53 rout of Western Michigan in an NCAA Tournament second round game.

Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis scored 16 points apiece, with Ennis adding six assists for Syracuse (28-5), the third seed of the South Region which will face 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday. C.J. Fair contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Dayton advanced with a 60-59 upset in the final seconds of its matchup against sixth seed Ohio State earlier on Thursday.

Tucker Haymond and Shayne Whittington tallied 11 points apiece for the Broncos (23-10), who had earned their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance after winning the Mid American Conference tourney.

"We expect to contend every year," said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. "We've won our division, I don't know, something like 7 of the 11 years I've been there, and we've been towards the top of the league for the great majority of the time.

"We were able to do it this year, and we've been very competitive. We expect to do that every year. People will always ask, Well, how are you going to replace Shayne? We have somebody. We get to use scholarships."

The Orange sprinted out to a 17-4 lead eight minutes in before Western Michigan scored the next five points. Syracuse stretched its advantage shortly afterward with a 14-2 surge that gave the Orange a 33-13 lead with four minutes left in the half, and they did not look back from there.

Western Michigan used an 8-2 burst to pull within 14, but Cooney and Fair netted the final five points of the half to give the Orange a 40-21 lead at the break.

Syracuse led by double-digits through the final 20 minutes, allowing the Broncos to come as close as 14 with their largest deficit reaching 28 points.

"I thought our defense was really good right from the beginning. We made some shots. That always makes it a little bit easier when the ball goes in the basket. But overall, our defense was really good, and I thought that was the big key for us today," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

The Orange got back to their winning ways after coming in having lost five of their last seven following a 25-0 start to the season.

Game Notes

Syracuse is 61-36 all-time in the NCAA Tournament ... Western Michigan is 0-3 all-time when facing the Orange ... The Broncos had won 14 of their last 16 coming into the game ... Head coach Jim Boeheim has guided Syracuse to a record of 53-29 in the NCAA Tournament.

03/20 19:23:31 ET