Graham’s 35 carries No. 2 Kansas past Syracuse, 76-60

Kansas players warm up prior the start of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse at the HoopHall Miami Invitational tournament Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

MIAMI (AP) – Devonte’ Graham matched his career-high with 35 points for the second consecutive game, Lagerald Vick added 20 and No. 2 Kansas remained unbeaten by topping Syracuse 76-60 in the HoopHall Miami Invitational on Saturday night.

Graham shot 10 for 17 from the field and 7 for 13 from 3-point range for Kansas (7-0), which is off to its best start in seven years. Graham missed his first three tries from beyond the arc, then made seven of his next eight.

Svi Mykhailuk added 11 points for the Jayhawks, who shot 49 percent.

Tyus Battle scored 22 points for Syracuse (6-1), which was playing away from the Carrier Dome for the first time this season. Frank Howard scored 15 and Oshae Brissett had 13 for Syracuse.

The Orange trailed by 21 early in the second half before a 16-2 run over 2 1/2 minutes got Syracuse within 49-42, with Battle and Howard combining for 14 points during that stretch.

Graham connected on a deep straightaway 3 to end that Orange flurry, and Syracuse went cold quickly. The Orange managed only five points in the next 6 minutes, and Kansas rebuilt a 17-point lead on a dunk by Vick with 7:39 left.

The Orange didn’t get closer than nine again, and finished shooting only 32 percent.

BIG PICTURE

Syracuse: As of now, this may be the only game Syracuse plays against a ranked opponent until facing Notre Dame on Jan. 6. None of the next eight opponents on the Orange schedule are currently in the AP Top 25, nor were any of their first six. … Miami coach Jim Larranaga, whose Hurricanes played in the second game Saturday night, spent some time watching Syracuse-Kansas – from behind the Syracuse bench.

Kansas: Graham had 60 points in Kansas’ first five games; he’s got 70 in his last two. … It’s still an unbeaten season for Jayhawk basketball – not only is the men’s team perfect so far, but Kansas’ women’s team is off to a 6-0 start. … Kansas is 3-3 against Syracuse all-time, and snapped a two-game slide against the Orange – one that included a loss in the 2003 NCAA championship game.

WAITERS WATCHES

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters had a rare chance to see his beloved Orange – he played for Syracuse from 2010 through 2012 – in person, sitting courtside with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley. He said he expected Kansas to be surprised by the quality of Syracuse’s famed 2-3 zone. “That zone’s for real,” Waiters said, quickly adding that he led the Big East in steals thanks to that zone.

SUNSHINE STATERS

Syracuse will be in Florida at least three times this season – this game, plus Atlantic Coast Conference games at Florida State on Jan. 13 and Miami on Feb. 17. This was the third visit by Kansas to the Sunshine State in the last 20 years. The Jayhawks went to Florida in 2013-14, and won a tournament in Orlando the following season. Kansas hadn’t played in Miami since 1990.

UP NEXT

Syracuse: Faces Connecticut in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Kansas: Faces Washington in the Jayhawk Shootout at Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday.

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