SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Josh Pace, Billy Edelin and No. 20 Syracuse appear to be in good shape heading into Big East Conference play.
Pace scored a career-high 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting and Edelin added 22 on 9-of-13 shooting as the Orangemen defeated Michigan State, 96-83, for their ninth straight victory.
Hakim Warrick chipped in 21 points and Gerry McNamara 18 for Syracuse (9-1), which scored the game's first nine points and led thereafter.
"We wanted to make a good showing on national television and we wanted to show people that there is life after Melo (Carmelo Anthony)," said Edelin, referring to the star freshman forward who led Syracuse to its first national title last season before leaving for the NBA. "We know what kind of team we have."
The Orangemen, who shot 60 percent (35-of-58), held just a 40-34 advantage after a 3-pointer by Michigan State's Chris Hill with 1:52 left in the first half. But Syracuse scored the game's next 15 points, opening a 55-34 cushion on a three-point play by Pace with 16:49 to play.
"Our game plan was not to let Warrick, Edelin and McNamara go nuts," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "(But) Pace doomed us, especially early."
Alan Anderson's 3-pointer pulled the Spartans (5-6) within 78-70 with 5:12 left, but the Orangemen scored the next six points and were not threatened again.
Syracuse shot 56 percent in the first half (18-of-32) and 65 percent in the second (17-of-26) and outscored Michigan State in the paint, 50-34.
"It was a good, solid overall game for us," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Our best so far, especially on the offensive end."
Pace had 13 points and Edelin nine in the first half to help the Orangemen take a 44-34 lead into the break.
"Josh and Billy were huge, especially in the first half," Boeheim said. "People are always looking for Gerry and Hak (Warrick), and it creates opportunities for them. They were just huge."
Paul Davis scored 21 points, Hill added 16, freshman Shannon Brown 15 and Maurice Ager 14 for the Spartans, who have lost four of six. Their other five losses have come against Kansas, Duke, Oklahoma, Kentucky and UCLA.
"We've played six very good teams and Syracuse is in that group," Izzo said. "There's nobody to blame about the schedule but me, because I make it."