Syracuse vs. San Diego State: Orange easily defeat Aztecs, 62-49

Harry How

No. 9-ranked Syracuse defeated San Diego St., 62-49, in its season opener played on the deck of the U.S.S. Midway in the San Diego Harbor.

Junior forward C.J. Fair scored a game-high 17 points and collected 10 rebounds Sunday to propel the No. 9-ranked Syracuse Orange to a 62-49 victory over the San Diego St. Aztecs in a non-conference men's college basketball game, which was played on the deck of the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Midway located in the San Diego Harbor.

Fair went 7-for-15 from the floor in SU's season opener while sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points, five steals and four assists for the Orange (1-0), who raced out to a 17-4 advantage and never looked back.

"Its a good win," Syracuse head coach Jim Boehim said, "we're happy to get it."

The Aztecs (0-1) made 27-percent (17-for-63) of their shots, including going just 1-for-18 from behind the 3-point arc, in outdoor conditions.

Junior guard Jamaal Franklin scored a team-high 11 points, however, went 3-for-12 from the field.

Despite being outrebounded (41-40), committing more turnovers (18-16) and shooting less free throws (19 to 33), Syracuse was able to use its ability to score inside as an advantage. The Orange finished the game 25-for-56 from the field (44-percent) and attempted just four 3-point attempts.

"We just had to get to the basket," Boeheim said. "Its a tough game. Its just like when you play outdoors in the summer, you gotta get to the basket, that's why kids from the city don't take jump shots."

The showdown, which was one of four military-themed college basketball games over the Veterans Day weekend, was the only one, which was played on an aircraft carrier, to complete a full 40 minutes.

On Friday, the two military-themed games -- Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes on the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, SC and Florida Gators vs. Georgetown Hoyas on the USS Bataan in Jacksonville, FL -- were canceled due to weather conditions.

Yet, Sunday's contest between Syracuse and San Diego St. featured sunny skies, temperatures in the low 60s and slight wind gusts, which did factor into the shooting, but did not hamper each team's ability to play a game commonly played outdoors.

Syracuse's next game will be played next week against visiting Wagner Seahawks (1 p.m. on SNY), while the Aztecs will host San Diego Christian on Tuesday.

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