Sports

Syracuse backcourt of Ennis and Cooney shine, Orange beat Western Michigan 77-53

  • Syracuse's Jerami Grant (3) dunks the ball against Western Michigan during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Robert Kirkham) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT

    Syracuse's Jerami Grant (3) dunks the ball against Western Michigan during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Robert Kirkham) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Syracuse's Trevor Cooney (10) puts up a 3-pointer over Western Michigan's David Brown (5) in a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Robert Kirkham) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT

    Syracuse's Trevor Cooney (10) puts up a 3-pointer over Western Michigan's David Brown (5) in a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Robert Kirkham) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Western Michigan's Connar Tava (2) shoots against Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas (25) during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick LoVerde)

    Western Michigan's Connar Tava (2) shoots against Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas (25) during the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick LoVerde)  (The Associated Press)

Syracuse's backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points and the Orange defense clamped down in a 77-53 victory over Western Michigan on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Syracuse (28-5), the third seed in the South Regional, will play 11th-seeded Dayton (24-10) on Saturday. Dayton beat Ohio State 60-59 on Thursday.

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 Orange 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, and Ennis had 16 points and six assists with one turnover.

The Orange used an 18-4 spurt over 10 minutes to take control and led 40-21 at halftime.

Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond led Western Michigan with 11 points apiece.