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Men's basketball: Orange squeeze Broncos

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:04 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Bill Wippert)
Syracuse's C.J. Fair (5) drives past Western Michigan's Connar Tava during Thursday's NCAA tournament game in Buffalo, N.Y. The Orange won 77-53.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Syracuse's backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points, and the Orange defense clamped down in a 77-53 win over Western Michigan.

Western Michigan (23-10), the Mid-American Conference champion, had won 14 of 16 games, and was in the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade.

The third-seeded Orange (28-5) forced 11 turnovers in the opening half, and scored 13 points off them in running out to a double-digit lead before the midpoint of the period.

Cooney led the Orange with 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the arc. Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond led Western Michigan with 11 points apiece.

Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48: Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping ninth-seeded Pittsburgh build a 28-point lead in Orlando, Fla.

The Panthers (26-9) shot 51 percent and played stifling defense.

Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt center made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didn't have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes.

Florida 67, Albany 55: Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat 16th-seeded Albany.

The Gators (33-2) showed some vulnerability, though, while extending their school-record winning streak to 27 games.

Finney-Smith, the Southeastern Conference's sixth man of the year, was 6-of-10 shooting. Freshman guard Kasey Hill, who wasn't sure he would be able to play because of turf toe, chipped in 10 points.

D.J. Evans led Albany (19-15) with 21 points and seven rebounds.

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