Syracuse opened 18-0 last season and the Orange's best start under coach Jim Boeheim was 19 straight wins to kick off 1999-2000.
DePaul (9-4, 0-1) had its five-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 3-18 all-time facing No. 1-ranked teams. Cleveland Melvin led the Blue Demons with 23 points.
Syracuse held DePaul to 30.8 shooting in the first half -- 0 for 8 on 3-pointers -- and blocked five shots, three by the 7-foot Melo. The Orange shot 65.5 percent and had a 19-9 rebounding edge in opening a 45-26 lead.
Playing its first game since Dec. 21, DePaul chopped the lead to 16 midway through the second half but could never make a serious run. When Melo's block led a runout and Syracuse pushed the lead to 85-57 with about 4 minutes left, some of the crowd at the Allstate Arena started to head for the exits.
A 15-2 run featuring Joseph's slam on a fastbreak pass from Brandon Triche gave the Orange a 17-9 lead.
Melo's long arms altered numerous shots as the Orange defense set the tempo early. Eight points from Melvin kept the Blue Demons close. Joseph hit a 3-pointer and two free throws and another 3-pointer and drive by James Southerland put the Orange up 11 points with about 7 minutes left in the half.
When Scoop Jardine and Waiters drove strong to the basket for layups, the Orange had run off nine straight points for a 33-18 lead.
The high-leaping left-handed Fair hit two straight baskets from in close and Michael Carter-Williams' steal and layup pushed the lead to 19 with just under 2 minutes left in the opening half. Joseph's jumper made it a 21-point lead
DePaul tried some trapping fullcourt defenses but after a couple of early Syracuse turnovers did little to stop the Orange.
DePaul shot 40 percent for the game to 58.6 percent for Syracuse.