Robert Kirkham/The Buffalo News via AP
Published Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 11:50 a.m.
Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 2:23 p.m.
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 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.
Dayton upsets Ohio State, 60-59, in closing seconds
Vee Sanford scored on a layup with 3.8 seconds left to lift 11th-seeded Dayton to a 60-59 victory over sixth-seeded Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday at Buffalo.
Sanford finished with 10 points, while Dyshawn Pierre led the Flyers (24-10) with 12 points in a matchup of Ohio schools separated by about 75 miles. Dayton advances to play the third-seeded Syracuse, 77-53 winners over Western Michigan, in a South Region matchup on Saturday.
The Buckeyes (25-10) had one last chance to pull out the victory, but Aaron Craft's driving 10-footer hit off the backboard and rolled off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Sam Thompson scored 18 points and Craft added 16 for Ohio State, which was eliminated after one game for only the third time in its 26 tournament appearances.