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12/03/2012 11:09 PM EST
No. 4 Syracuse beats Eastern Michigan 84-48
SYRACUSE 84, EASTRN MICHIGAN 48

By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- His team is unbeaten and ranked fourth in
the nation and has won 48 straight nonconference games and 26
straight at home in the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome.



Just don't tell Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim his Orange is ready
for the challenges of the rugged Big East.



"We're trying to get ready for conference play," Boeheim said
Monday night after Syracuse beat Eastern Michigan 84-48 in a
sloppy game. "We'll have some tough games, more than enough to
get you ready.



"To just assume we're going to win games is the most arrogant
thing I have ever seen in my life," Boeheim said. "I don't like
arrogance and I don't like arrogant people. To just think it's
going to happen, it doesn't work that way."



On this night it did for the Orange (6-0) despite 18 turnovers
as Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points and 11 assists to lead
five players in double figures, two of them freshmen and another
a redshirt freshman.



Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists at 9.2 per
game, had an erratic first half and finished with six of
Syracuse's 18 turnovers against EMU's 2-3 zone.



"We didn't come out ready," Carter-Williams said. "I made some
bad passes, some bad decisions, but that's going to happen."



Freshman Jerami Grant had a season-high 11 points and two
blocks, freshman Dajuan Coleman had a season-high 14 points, and
Brandon Triche finished with 12 for Syracuse. James Southerland,
who had a career-high 35 points and matched a school record with
nine 3-pointers in Friday night's win at Arkansas, finished with
four points, missing all five shots he attempted from behind the
arc, while C.J. Fair finished with nine points on 3-of-10
shooting.



Trevor Cooney, mired in an awful slump - he was 0 for 11 in the
three previous games from 3-point range - missed his first five
from beyond the arc against the Eagles before finally making one
with 8:09 left. That jump-started his game and he finished with
a season-high 11 points.



"When I was able to get that first one to go, if you're able to
get shots to go in, that's big," said Cooney, who sat out last
season. "Once I was able to get that first one out of the way,
it took a relief off my back.



"It would be easy to say that it (the slump) hasn't affected me,
but if you let it really get to you, then you're really going to
be done ... you can't play a sport like this. You've just got to
stay positive about yourself and believe the next one's going to
fall."



Eastern Michigan (5-2) and the Orange had met just twice before,
the last time also an 84-48 Syracuse victory a year ago in the
Carrier Dome.



EMU coach Rob Murphy spent seven seasons as an assistant coach
under Boeheim before taking the job with the Eagles two years
ago. His Eagles had 24 turnovers - 17 in the first half - and
were outscored 31-9 on the miscues, victims of the Orange press.



"We were concerned with that coming in. We just didn't handle it
well," Murphy said. "We worked on it, but until you get in the
situation and you're in this place and you see those long,
active hands, you just can't prepare for it. I don't think we
should have turned it over that much - 17 turnovers in the first
half, that was enough for a complete game, and that's where the
game was lost."



Derek Thompson led Eastern Michigan with 18 points and Glenn
Bryant had 16. Da'Shonte Riley, a 7-foot center who transferred
from Syracuse to EMU after spending two seasons with the Orange,
finished with three points on 1-of-8 shooting but collected six
blocks, one off his career high.



"There's obviously different levels of college basketball, and
we kind of exposed some of that tonight," Riley said. "We've
just got to play a lot tougher, a lot stronger, a lot smarter,
and I think it'll be all right."



Defensively, the Eagles were holding opponents to 36.3 percent
shooting, tied for 27th in the country, and the Orange had
trouble coping at the outset.



Syracuse missed 10 of its first 12 shots, including three lobs,
and committed five turnovers in the opening minutes. Fortunately
for the Orange, the Eagles weren't much better, going 4 of 11
and losing the ball five times.



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.



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 were 6 of 22 (27.3 percent) shooting in the first
half, missing all six 3-pointers they attempted, and finished 18
of 61 (29.5 percent) and 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) on 3-pointers.



Syracuse hit 9 of its final 19 shots in the first half to take a
35-17 halftime lead despite 1-for-10 shooting from beyond the
arc. The Orange shot 19 of 37 (51.4 percent) in the second half.



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.

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