"Coach motivated us at halftime," guard Andy Rautins said.
Whatever Boeheim said seemed to work.
Arinze Onuaku made all seven of his shots and finished with 17 points, Eric Devendorf added 13 points and five assists, and the unbeaten Orange beat the 49ers 79-55 for their ninth straight victory.
Syracuse (9-0) was coming off a 10-day layoff, and it showed in the first half as the Orange shot 40.6 percent and Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris, the team's leading scorers, combined for three points. Flynn, averaging 19.5 points, was 0-for-5 from the field and Harris, averaging nearly 15, was 0-for-3.
"With a week off, it's always going to be tough to get going," Onuaku said. "It was good to play a game. We all thought it was much too close at halftime."
Although Syracuse never trailed in the game, the 49ers (4-5) were within 33-30 with 71 seconds left in the first half after Larry Anderson's driving layup. But the Orange scored the final four points of the half to take a 37-30 lead and started the second with an 18-4 run to take control.
Flynn fed Onuaku for a spinning layup off the glass, and the big center then slammed home two dunks off passes from Harris and Devendorf to key the surge. Onuaku backed in on Brian Freeman to score again from in close and give Syracuse a 55-34 lead with 13:26 left.
After Syracuse played six games in a 12-day span, Boeheim took the blame for the tough slate, which included games against Florida and Kansas on consecutive nights in the CBE Classic in Kansas City.
Now the Orange have begun another flurry -- five games in 10 days -- before Big East play begins Dec. 30 at home against Seton Hall. And they started it by winning without much from their two top scorers.
"Us being deep won us the game," Harris said. "We just weren't ready to play."