By MARK FRANK , Associated Press
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Elijah Hughes and Tyus Battle had 17 points apiece and Syracuse broke a two-game losing streak, defeating Arkansas State 82-52 on Saturday.
Oshae Brissett, who had just one point in the first half, added 15 for Syracuse (8-4). Center Paschal Chukwu, who came in off the bench as coach Jim Boeheim shook up his starting lineup, had 13 rebounds.
Ty Cockfield led the Red Wolves (5-7) with 17 points, including 4-of-10 from 3. Grantham Gillard had 10.
Syracuse trailed the heavy-underdog Red Wolves (5-7) for virtually the entire first half, trailing 26-15 with 9:32 to go, but Syracuse closed the half on a 23-10 run to take a 38-36 lead. Hughes had eight points and Brissett seven to trigger a 15-3 run for Syracuse to start the second half. Arkansas State went nearly seven minutes between field goals.
The Orange outscored Arkansas State 44-16 in the second half. Syracuse was a blistering 15 of 28 in the second half, while the Orange’s smothering defense held the Red Wolves to 5 of 25.
The Red Wolves shot 48 percent in the first half but missed 10 of their first 11 shots to start the second 20 minutes.
The Orange struggled on offense in the first half, hitting just 9-of-23 from the field and 3-of-11 from 3. Battle and Hughes led Syracuse with 10 and nine points each. Oshae Brissett had just one point.
Despite having no player taller than 6-foot-9 in their rotation, the Red Wolves scored 16 points in the paint in the first half and held their own on the boards. Syracuse held just an 18-14 rebounding edge.
Arkansas State: The Red Wolves had to be encouraged by their first-half performance, building an 11-point lead, which could be a sign of good things to come.
Syracuse: The Orange had one of their better halves to pull away but they remain enigmatic on offense. Syracuse struggled mightily for much of the first half before catching fire and must show more consistency if it hopes to have a successful season.
Arkansas State hosts Harding next Saturday.
Syracuse closes out its seven-game homestand next Saturday against Upstate New York rival St. Bonaventure.
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