No. 7 Syracuse beats Central Connecticut 96-62

No. 7 Syracuse beats Central Connecticut 96-62
December 31, 2012, 6:00 pm
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Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams looks to pass against Central Connecticut State's Malcolm McMillan during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

(APWF)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Michael Carter-Williams scored a career-high 18 points and added 13 assists and No. 7 Syracuse beat Central Connecticut State 96-62 on Monday, giving Orange coach Jim Boeheim his 902nd career win.

Boeheim tied Bob Knight for second all-time in victories among Division I men's coaches. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski leads with 939.

Syracuse (12-1) completed its nonconference schedule with its 32nd straight home win, the longest active streak in the nation. Boeheim's first chance to pass Knight comes in the Orange's Big East opener on Wednesday night at home against Rutgers.

CCSU (4-7) lost its fourth straight and was overmatched against the much taller Orange after a strong start. Senior forward Joe Efese was the tallest Blue Devil in the starting lineup at 6-foot-6, dwarfed by a Syracuse front line of 6-8 C.J. Fair, 6-9 Dajuan Coleman and 6-9 Rakeem Christmas.

Carter-Williams posted his seventh double-double of the season. Fair finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Coleman had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Triche added 13 points.

The Orange finished 10 of 22 from behind the 3-point arc after going 11 of 39 in the previous two games, outrebounded the Blue Devils 57-32 and had a 56-18 advantage in the paint.

Matt Hunter had 18 points to lead Central Connecticut and Kyle Vinales had 14 points and matched his season high with four 3-pointers. Adonis Burbage and Terrell Allen each had 13 points.

The Blue Devils held their own at the outset, going 6 of 11 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and outrebounding the Orange 8-6 in the first 8 minutes.

A pair of 3s by Vinales gave CCSU a 15-13 lead at the 12:08 mark as the Blue Devils consistently found the open man against the Orange's 2-3 zone. And after James Southerland scored five straight points for the Orange, Allen and Vinales countered with 3s to put CCSU up 21-18 just past the midpoint of the half.

Syracuse found its rhythm soon after that, hitting four 3s and closing the half with a 29-5 surge to take charge.

Carter-Williams, who had nine rebounds to come ever-so-close to an elusive triple-double, started the run with a 3 from the top of the key and Southerland followed with a two-handed slam after a steal by Christmas.