Tonawanda News — The Broncos committed four quick turnovers as Syracuse took a 7-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Cooney just over 3 minutes in.
Brown led the MAC at 19.4 points per game and earned MVP of the conference tournament after scoring a career-high 32 points that included five 3-pointers in the final against Toledo, and he makes a good living at the free throw line.
Brown was 196 of 254 (77.2 percent) from the line, most of the fouls coming while he was attempting one of the 237 shots he took from behind the arc. He found no room to roam against the Orange, missing three times from well beyond the 3-point line before finally hitting near the midpoint of the opening half.
Whittington is a hulking figure in the lane at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, but Grant easily spun around him and slammed home a ferocious two-handed dunk to boost the Syracuse lead to 12-4.
Cooney's second 3 and a layup by Ennis had the Broncos 13 points behind and reeling.
Fair's three-point play and a 3-pointer from the wing by Ennis off a feed from Grant inside gave Syracuse a 31-13 lead with 4:08 to go in the half.
Whittington shook off a foul by Grant and hit a pretty hook in the lane that he turned into a three-point play and Brown followed with two free throws and his first 3 to give the Broncos a glimmer of hope.
Syracuse responded with a slam dunk by senior center Baye Moussa Keita, another 3 from Cooney, and a putback by Fair off a miss by Ennis to gain the 19-point halftime lead.
Syracuse won its first 25 games and was ranked No. 1 for three weeks before losing five of seven in a late-season skid.
Since matching a school record with nine 3-pointers that keyed a six-point win over Notre Dame, Cooney had hit just 10 of 51 (19.6 percent) from long range. That abysmal shooting came during Syracuse's swoon.