Syracuse, NY – In the midst of everything, Jim Boeheim and Syracuse continue to win.
So far, the sex-abuse scandal that cost a longtime assistant coach his job hasn't affected the fourth-ranked Orange's ability to blow out lesser teams.
James Southerland scored 19 points, Brandon Triche had 12 and Syracuse rolled to an 84-48 victory over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, winning its fourth game in a row since Bernie Fine was accused two weeks ago of molesting two former ball boys.
Kris Joseph added 11 points as the Orange (7-0) put forth another dominating performance after beating Stanford in their closest game of the season, 69-63, on Friday to win the NIT Season Tip-Off.
They trailed 21-18 with eight minutes left in the first half, but Dion Waiters hit a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 run and Syracuse never fell behind again.
Darrell Lampley scored 19 points to lead Eastern Michigan (4-3), but the Eagles lost their second in a row.
Concerns that Boeheim might also lose his job seemed to lessen earlier Tuesday after the university's chancellor, according to an account by the Associated Press, offered the head coach a vote of confidence.
Boeheim, at least publicly, didn't seem concerned.
"I never worried about my job status in 36 years," he said in an anticipated press conference after the game.
The attention was understandable. Tuesday marked Syracuse's first game since Fine was fired on Sunday night in the wake of another accusation by a third man and the revelation of a taped phone call from 2002 in which Fine's wife expressed concerns about her husband's actions.
Boeheim, who originally criticized the first accusers, said in a statement late Sunday that the new allegations were "disturbing and deeply troubling" and supported the school's decision to fire Fine. He also apologized for his previous statements, in which he claimed the accusers were after money.
"Based on what I knew at that time, that there were three investigations that weren't corroborated ... that was the basis of me saying what I said," Boeheim said.
More concisely, Boeheim said: "I supported a friend ... I'm proud I did."
The line received applause by some in attendance at his press conference and came near the end of a back-and-forth exchange between Boeheim and the media in which the Syracuse coach tried in vain to steer questions away from the Fine story and toward the game.
"It's hard to put everything into words," the coach said. "I thought a lot today about different things. I'm saddened in many ways by the events that unfolded and I'm looking forward to the time when we can talk about what happened."
He bristled at the notion that any alleged abuse could have happened "on his watch." The original accuser, Bobby Davis, told ESPN he was subjected to abuse in Fine's home, at the school's basketball facilities and during road trips.
"When the investigation is done, we will find out what happened on my watch," said Boeheim. "We don't know what happened on my watch right now."
Syracuse hit a season-high number of three-pointers, going 13-for-30, and led Eastern Michigan by as many as 37 points in the second half after carrying a 32-24 advantage into the break.
Southerland was 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-for-6 on three-pointers, in 19 minutes off the bench. The Orange shot 50 percent from the floor overall.
Lampley was the only Eagles scorer in double digits and they shot just 34.7 percent as a team.
Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy was on Boeheim's staff from 2004-11...The Eagles won the only previous meeting between the teams, a 68-65 victory in December 1996.