San Diego, CA – C.J. Fair scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helping the ninth-ranked Syracuse Orange beat the 20th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs, 62-49, on the deck of the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego.
Michael Carter-Williams also scored 17 points for the Orange (1-0), who lost to Ohio State in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season. Brandon Triche donated 15 points.
"I'm proud to be in this game and be out here," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "I'm glad the weather held up for us. I'm proud of my team because obviously it's tough to make shots. I'm not sure how C.J. made that first three he took. The wind must have waited there for a second. But we had to get the ball to the basket, and C.J. and Mike and Brandon did a tremendous job of that."
Jamaal Franklin had 11 points and eight boards for the Aztecs (0-1), who lost to North Carolina State in the second round of last year's NCAA tourney.
"We did a good job of attacking, 33 free throws," said San Diego State coach Steve Fisher. "Got to find a way to make them. When you don't make them, obviously it wears on you."
Originally scheduled for Friday before it was changed due to weather concerns, this wasn't the only college game scheduled to be played on the deck of a warship to begin the new season. Also on Friday, fourth-ranked Ohio State was slated to take on Marquette on the U.S.S. Yorktown in South Carolina, but the meeting had to be canceled due to persistent condensation on the court. Georgetown and 10th-ranked Florida had a similar situation on the U.S.S. Bataan at Naval Station Mayport as they had their game halted at the half because of condensation as well.
Holding a 6-4 lead, Syracuse went on an 11-0 run to create some distance. Fair bookended the surge with a 3-pointer and jumper to make it 17-4 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
The margin reached 14, 24-10, on Rakeem Christmas' slam and free throw. It was a 33-19 game at the break.
The Orange cruised to victory in the second half, holding a double-digit lead throughout the frame.
Sunday's game was just the second meeting between the schools. The Orange won the only previous encounter during the 2007 NIT with an 80-64 triumph at home ... Syracuse opened the season away from the Carrier Dome for the first time since the 2002-03 season ... Syracuse has won eight consecutive season openers dating back to the 2004-05 campaign ... San Diego State had won seven straight season-opening games.