SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Jim Boeheim hopes sophomore Darryl Watkins laid the groundwork for more consistency before the Big East schedule begins.
Watkins had career highs with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his first double-double to lead No. 8 Syracuse to a 74-54 victory over Drexel.
"It felt great," Watkins said "I just hope the minutes keep coming. I feel more comfortable every game."
A 6-11 sophomore from Patterson, New Jersey, Watkins delivered results for the Orange (9-1) after starting center Craig Forth picked up two fouls in the first six minutes.
Watkins, who scored 12 points twice this season, was held scoreless against Memphis and had only one in Syracuse's only loss against Oklahoma State at the Jimmy V Classic.
"Darryl is getting better every game," Boeheim said. "He is taking advantage of being open."
Philadelphia native Hakim Warrick led the Orange with 21 points, including six during a 10-1 run in the final 4:32 of the first half, for a 40-26 lead at intermission. Syracuse shot 64 percent (18-of-28) in the first 20 minutes.
"It was tough coming off the week off," Warrick said. "But I thought we responded fine. Mookie (Watkins) picked us up tonight. He had a bunch of energy."
Josh Pace scored 14 for Syracuse, which outrebounded Drexel, 44-17, and held the Dragons to 34 percent (19-of-54) from the field.
"It was a good, solid win," Boeheim said. "We played well offensively tonight. I was happy with the way we played. I thought we played tremendously at the end of the first half."
Gerry McNamara did not score in the first half and finished with six points and a season-high six turnovers.
"It was a real eerie game for me," McNamara said. "It was tough for me coming back after a week off. I felt tired. The week off slowed me down."
Chaz Crawford scored 15 points and Phil Goss added 11 for Drexel, which has lost both meetings to the Orange.
"We just couldn't make any shots," Drexel coach James "Bruiser" Flint said. "We had no answers for Hakim."
Syracuse had the advantage in bench points, 22-2, and in points in the paint, 40-16.