The "Battle on the Midway" was the one game that took place on an aircraft carrier that did not get rained out, and the San Diego St. Aztecs probably wish it had. The No. 9 ranked Syracuse Orange were just too much for the 20th ranked Aztecs, and easily won 62-49.
The first half struggles were somewhat being blamed on San Diego State shooting into the wind and sun, but that was just an excuse. The Aztecs could not hit easy baskets under the hoop, and turned the ball over 12 times in the first half alone.
San Diego State could not get anything going offensively, and Jamaal Franklin was held in check with just 11 points on 3 of 12 shooting, and that included missing all six of his three-point attempts. The offense as a whole was just awful, they shot 27 percent from the field, 1 of 18 from beyond the arc and made just 14 of 33 free throws.
It is easy to say that had San Diego State just made their shots they would have been in the game, but that is very true. Their offense could not crack the matchup zone, and when they did get the ball under the hoop, the lengthy, and athletic Syracuse defenders just swarmed to the ball.
The Aztecs had edges in key categories by out rebound the Orange, 41-40, committing two less turnovers and shooting 33 free throws to just 19 for Syracuse. The big difference came as Syracuse was able to score in the paint, and pretty much at will. That is due to the Aztecs having no true big man, and typically utilizing a three-guard lineup.
In the second half when the Aztecs were attempting make a comeback, the wind picked up again, making three-point shots nearly impossible. With the three-point shots unlikely to fall, that made any sort of comeback pretty much impossible.
This is only the first game of the year, so Aztec fans do not need to panic; the playing conditions were not ideal, and they played a very good opponent. It is a long season, so San Diego State needs to learn from this loss and get ready for their Tuesday game against San Diego Christian.