After a shaky couple minutes to open the game, #1 Syracuse roared to life, blasting DePaul on the road, 87-68. The Orange (15-0, 2-0) were strong after stuttering in the opening seconds, holding the Blue Demons (9-4, 0-1) to 8-for-26 shooting in the first half. SU’s strong defensive effort helped them withstand their 16 turnovers, including a dozen in the first half and first minute of the second. When the Orange held on to the ball, they exhibited great marksmanship, connecting on 65.5 percent of their field goals in the first half.
Syracuse was sloppy out of the gate, allowing DePaul to jump out to a 7-2 lead just 90 seconds into the action. The Orange then roared to life, scoring 15 of the next 17 points of the game to grab a 17-9 lead with just over seven minutes elapsed. The Blue Demons stayed within arm’s reach for the next few minutes, but SU tagged them with nine straight points to open up a 33-18 lead with just under six minutes on the clock. With under 3:30 remaining in the half, Syracuse added on another run, this one of eight straight points, to take their biggest led of the half at 45-24 with just under a minute to go in the half. A pair of DePaul free throws made it 45-26 in favor of the Orange at the break.
The Blue Demons never really threatened SU in the second half, as the margin ranged between 16 and 22 points for the first ten minutes of the second half. Syracuse used an 8-1 burst to take their biggest lead to that point at 71-48 with just under eight minutes to go. The Orange then added on a 7-0 run to take their strongest grip on the lead at 85-57 with 4:08 to go before easing to the final horn.
Kris Joseph bounced back from a scoreless game his last time out to pace SU with a season-high 22 points, including 13 in the opening half. C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters provided a boost from the bench, scoring 16 and 13 points, respectively. Fab Melo added a dozen points for the second straight outing and added six blocked shots on the defensive end. Brandon Triche was the fifth SU player in double figures with ten points.