Very early on you knew this game wasn't going to be close, as Western Michigan struggled to solve Syracuse's patented 2-3 zone. That's exactly how it ended in Buffalo, N.Y. with the Broncos falling 77-53, to the highly seeded Orange.
Eleven first-half turnovers and 34 percent field goal shooting doomed Western Michigan as they were down 19 points at the half. Senior guard Tucker Hammond who had 11 points and four rebounds, both team highs., who came into the game averaging 19 points, was held to just 2-for-12 shooting and nine points. The Broncos were led by
Syracuse had a balanced attack with Trevor Cooney scoring 18, Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant putting up 16, and C.J. Fair adding 14. The Orange shot 49.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. They also outrebounded the Broncos 41 to 25 and had 13 of those on the offensive end.
The stiffling Orange defense added eight steals and six blocks in the win.
Syracuse will face Dayton on Saturday, as the Flyers defeated Ohio State earlier Thursday afternoon.