Aztecs can't find stroke in Battle on the Midway
NOV 11, 2012 2:40p ET
C.J. Fair and Michael Carter-Williams each scored 17 points and No. 9 Syracuse blew past No. 20 San Diego State 62-49 on the flight deck of the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Midway on a sunny, windy Sunday afternoon.
The Orange (1-0) effectively put it away when Fair made a jumper to make it 17-4 with 11:30 to go in the first half. He had nine points at that point.
Syracuse was just too tall and bulky for the Aztecs (0-1), who couldn't crack the Orange's 2-3 zone.
"They are really big," said Jamaal Franklin, who led SDSU with 11 points. "It was frustrating that we couldn't really score and when you have somebody real big in front of you, it makes it a lot more frustrating."
Whether it was Syracuse's zone or the wind coming off the Pacific Ocean, the Aztecs shot horribly. They went 17 for 63 (27 percent) from the field, including only 1 for 18 (5.6 percent) from 3-point range. From the line, SDSU made just 14 of 33 (42.4 percent).
In last year's Carrier Classic on the USS Carl Vinson across San Diego Bay from the Midway, Michigan State made just 2 of 20 3-pointers in a 67-55 loss to North Carolina.
"The adjustment I made was just trying to shoot it straight forward, not getting it too much in the air so the wind would blow it," said SDSU guard Chase Tapley, who was 3 of 13 and had eight points. "I just wanted to get inside the paint."
Syracuse was 25 of 56 (44.6 percent) from the floor. It took only four 3-pointers, making one, and attempted 19 free throws, making 11 for 57.9 percent.
Fair had 10 rebounds to help Syracuse grab a 45-44 edge on the boards.
SDSU's only lead was 2-0 on Xavier Thames' runner in the lane Fair then made two free throws and a baseline jumper and hulking freshman DaJuan Coleman had a tip-in for his only points as the Orange took control.
"You can't get frustrated when you play," SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. "I thought we got frustrated, whether it was missed shots or blocked shots. We allowed that to get in the way."
Syracuse blocked 10 shots, five by Rakeem Christmas.
Of the three games on ships this year, this was the only one that was completed. On Friday night, the Marquette-Ohio State game on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., was canceled and the Georgetown-Florida game on the USS Bataan in Jacksonville was called off at halftime, both because of condensation on the court.
This game was postponed from Friday night due to the threat of rain.
It wasn't without some minor glitches.
The wood court bubbled near one basket, forcing workers to sand, seal and dry the area. The shot clock above that basket didn't work and the score and official time had to be kept at the scorer's table because the scoreboards didn't always work correctly.
Brandon Triche scored 15 for the Orange, whose biggest lead was 54-37 with 4:35 left.