Syracuse, wind doom San Diego State
San Diego • Orange ahoy!
No. 9 Syracuse made a rare nonconference trip out of upstate New York and 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.
C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Michael Carter-Williams also scored 17.
Although there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the conditions were far from ideal. The wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean made it tough for both teams, and it was the taller, bulkier Orange (1-0) who adjusted the best.
"This was a tough day," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "This was a hard game. You had to get to the basket. That was the only way you were going to score. You weren't going to make any jump shots."
The Orange (1-0) effectively put it away when Fair made a jumper for a 17-4 lead with 11:30 to go in the first half. He had nine points at that point.
SDSU (0-1) had a miserable day, both because of the wind and the Orange's 2-3 zone. Sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas, one of two 6-foot-9 starters, had five of Syracuse's 10 blocked shots.
The Aztecs went 17-for-63 (27 percent) from the field, including only 1-for-18 from 3-point range. From the line, SDSU made just 14 of 33.
"They started driving our zone, just like we started driving their man-to-man," Boeheim said. "When they got there, we're bigger, so we could make them have a tough shot. That was the whole key to the game."
Syracuse was 25 of 56 (44.6 percent) from the floor.