Battle, No. 16 Syracuse knock off Morehead State 84-70
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Tyus Battle scored 23 points, Elijah Hughes had 21 and No. 16 Syracuse beat Morehead State 84-70 on Saturday night.
Oshae Brissett added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Syracuse (2-0), which opened the season with a 66-34 victory over Eastern Washington on Tuesday night. Paschal Chukwu also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Orange is a matchup with former Big East rival Connecticut on Thursday night.
Jordan Walker led Morehead State (1-2) with 24 points, including 19 in the second half. Lamontray Harris had 14 and Malek Green finished with 12.
Syracuse outrebounded the outmanned Eagles 51-37 and had 44 points in the paint.
A dunk by Harris got the Eagles within three with about 16 minutes to go, but the Orange responded with a 12-0 run, keyed by Hughes’ seven points. Morehead State closed to 66-58 on a layup by A.J. Hicks with under seven minutes remaining, but Syracuse slowly pulled away in the final minutes.
Battle scored 18 in the second half after he had eight points in the season opener.
Syracuse jumped to a 25-11 lead on the strength of Brissett’s 12 points, but the Eagles went on a 16-3 run, keyed by three steals, to make it 28-27 with about five minutes left in the first half. The Orange had a 36-30 advantage at the break.
Syracuse committed 11 turnovers in the first half and the Eagles converted them into 13 points.
Battle and Buddy Boeheim, who shot a combined 4 of 21 in the season opener, were 2 of 12 in the opening half. Brissett had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Morehead State: The Eagles hung tough with the much-taller Orange on the strength of a tenacious defense, the second consecutive game Morehead State held its own against top competition. The Eagles lost 80-70 at UConn on Thursday night.
Syracuse: The Orange continue to miss starting point guard Frank Howard, who might return next week against the Huskies.
Morehead State meets Missouri-Kansas City on Friday in Cheney, Washington.
Syracuse and UConn play at Madison Square Garden.