SYRACUSE, N.Y. —
But after Bryant hit two free throws to give Eastern Michigan a 10-3 lead at 14:59, the Orange responded with a 13-2 spurt to gain its first lead and begin to take control.
C.J. Fair scored two straight baskets to start the rally and Southerland finished it with a one-handed baseline runner and a pullup jumper from the wing.
Thompson’s layup at 7:04 was Eastern Michigan’s final basket of the first half as Syracuse closed the period with a 19-3 run that erased any thoughts of an upset.
The Eagles had 17 turnovers that led to 18 points for the Orange and were 6 of 22 (27.3 percent) shooting in the first half, missing all six 3-pointers they attempted. Syracuse hit 9 of its final 19 shots to take a 35-17 halftime lead despite 1-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
A 3-pointer from the top of the key by Thompson cut the imposing lead to 37-20 in the first minute of the second half. That was the closest the Eagles came the rest of the game.
Syracuse entered the game averaging 80.2 points per game and was the epitome of consistency scoring inside in the first five games — the Orange registered 44, 44, 42, 42, and 40 points in the paint — and finished with a 48-22 edge there against EMU.