SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Michael Carter-Williams picked the perfect time to get his game back on track.
Syracuse’s slick-passing sophomore point guard had a career-high 18 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds on Monday to lead the seventh-ranked Orange to a 96-62 victory over Central Connecticut State.
The win gave Orange coach Jim Boeheim his 902nd career win.
After hitting only 5 of 26 shots in the three previous games, Carter-Williams was 6 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point arc, as Syracuse (12-1) found its long-range touch. He was one rebound shy of recording Syracuse’s first triple-double since Allen Griffin in 2001.
“My teammates told me. I was so close,” said Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists with 10.2 per game. “I’ll get one.”
Syracuse completed its nonconference schedule with its 32nd straight home win, the longest active streak in the nation. Boeheim tied Bob Knight for second all-time in victories among Division I men’s coaches, behind only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (939).
Boeheim’s first chance to pass Knight comes in the Orange’s Big East opener Wednesday night at home against Rutgers (9-2), which has won five straight.
“We’re looking forward to starting the Big East with Rutgers,” Boeheim said as he contemplated the Orange’s final year in the conference before joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. “They’re off to a great start, and we’re looking forward to that challenge.”
CCSU (4-7) lost its fourth straight and was overmatched against the much taller Orange after a strong start. Senior forward Joe Efese was the tallest Blue Devil in the starting lineup at 6-foot-6, dwarfed by a Syracuse front line of 6-8 C.J. Fair, 6-9 Dajuan Coleman and 6-9 Rakeem Christmas.
Carter-Williams posted his seventh double-double of the season. Fair finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Coleman had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Triche added 13 points.
The Orange finished 10 of 22 from behind the 3-point arc after going 11 of 39 in the previous two games, outrebounded the Blue Devils 57-32, and had a 56-18 advantage in the paint.
“It’s real important (to establish the outside game),” said Carter-Williams, who was 2-for-12 from behind the arc in the previous four games, not even attempting one against Alcorn State on Saturday.