Battle on the Midway 2012: Live Score, Analysis for Syracuse vs. San Diego State
It was two days later than we originally anticipated, but the 2012 Battle on the Midway, featuring the Syracuse Orange and San Diego State Aztecs, was finally played.
Steve Fisher's Aztecs were looking to top Jim Boeheim's Orange on the USS Midway in San Diego, but the Aztecs went down early thanks to a 17-2run by Syracuse, and they failed to climb back in it.
Windy conditions and glare from the sun made it difficult to play for these teams, but Syracuse fought it out and started the season with a victory over the Aztecs.
Finals Score: Syracuse 62, San Diego State 49
How This Affects the Rest of the Season
This was a big win for the Orange today. San Diego State is the best team on their nonconference schedule, and barring a freak upset, the Orange will go undefeated until at least January.
The Orange are already a top 10 team, but with the other elite teams bound to lose at some point we could see the Orange ranked in the top five in a few months.
This is a huge win for the team, and now they have about a dozen games to keep improving before they face the Big East.
San Diego State
Just like Syracuse, this is going to be the toughest game on the Aztecs' nonconference schedule. With just three games left against ranked opponents, if this team can come back and play well for the rest of the season it still has the potential to be ranked in the top 15 by the end of the year, if not higher.
The Aztecs rely heavily on their shooters, and the wind surely disrupted them today. Once they start playing games inside this team should prove why they were ranked No. 20 to start the season.
Why Syracuse Won
The Orange won this game because of their defense. On a windy day it was crucial to score inside, but the Orange packed in their 2-3 zone and didn't let the Aztecs get inside.
The team went on a 17-2 run early in the game, and they were leading by double-digits for almost the entire game. The only time they trailed was when they were down 2-0 after the first basket of the game.
Why San Diego State Lost
The Aztecs simply couldn't shoot today, and I doubt that they could have hit water from a boat (although they were so close today).
The Aztecs took seven more field goals and 14 more free throws today, but because the team shot 27 percent from the field (five percent from three) and 42.4 percent from the line, they ended up only scoring 49 points and lost by 13 points.
Syracuse: C.J. Fair
I could have put sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams here, but it was Fair who truly led the Orange. He started off well, scoring nine quick points, and he kept it up for the rest of the game.
Fair finished with a double-double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He was crucial in this victory for the Orange, and he is the team's top performer.
San Diego State: Jamaal Franklin
It's tough to call Franklin a top performer when he played much worse than we expected and turned the ball over seven times, but that's how difficult it was for the Aztecs.
Franklin's 11 points made him the only scorer in double-digits, and he also led the team with eight rebounds. Sure, he struggled, but so did everyone else.
Keys to the Game Results
The keys to this game were pretty obvious ones: Focus on San Diego State's backcourt and who controls the paint.
The results, however, were completely different from what we expected.
San Diego State's backcourt tandem of Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin both struggled, combining for 19 points on 6-of-25 shooting and eight turnovers (seven of which were Franklin's). Even those stats are generous since Franklin made a few baskets in garbage time to reach double-digits.
On the other side, Syracuse failed to outrebound the Aztecs and use their size. In fact, San Diego State actually outrebounded the Orange 41-40 despite being so much smaller.
What we thought were keys to the game actually ended up meaning very little.
And it's official. Syracuse starts the season 1-0, while San Diego State loses a tough game. Be sure to stick around for reaction and analysis, and predictions on what's to come for both programs.
Final Score: Syracuse 62, San Diego State 49
San Diego State timeout with 33.4 seconds left in the second half
Jamaal Franklin is tacking on a few extra points to pad his stats, but this game is over. All that's left now is the post-game reaction.
Score: Syracuse 60, San Diego State 49
I don't like that San Diego State is still fouling right now. The game is over, and all they're doing is extending a game that could result in a player injuring himself.
Score: Syracuse 60, San Diego State 47
San Diego State timeout with 1:03 left in the second half
SDSU is close to making this a single-digit deficit, which would be the first time since early in the first half.
Score: Syracuse 58, San Diego State 47
Jamaal Franklin finally makes his second basket of the game, but he was a huge disappointment today. Syracuse's defense baffled him, and despite his nine points he also has seven turnovers.
Score: Syracuse 58, San Diego State 45
Timeout with 1:25 left in the second half
Syracuse can just kill clock and start the season with a victory over No. 20 San Diego State great way for the Orange to start the season.
Score: Syracuse 58, San Diego State 43
Timeout with 2:25 left in the second half
San Diego State is finally getting inside and finishing, but it's likely too little too late.
Score: Syracuse 56, San Diego State 45
Down 13 with under four minutes to go, it's time for San Diego State to take out all the stops and try to score as quickly as possible. This game is all but over, but the last few minutes should be exciting to say the least.
Score: Syracuse 54, San Diego State 41
With about four minutes left these two teams have combined for just 91 points. I think the under is going to win here.
Michael Carter-Williams is now up to four fouls in the game. He and James Southerland are both in deep foul trouble. Not what Orange fans want to see from their sophomore point guard.
Score: Syracuse 53, San Diego State 37
Timeout with 7:08 left in the second half
Syracuse isn't letting SDSU get any shots off inside, either fouling or blocking the shot. The team is already up to eight blocks, led by Rakeem Christmas' five.
Score: Syracuse 49, San Diego State 37
Syracuse timeout with 7:45 left in the second half.
Syracuse is keeping this lead in double-digits, and in a few minutes it will be time for the Aztecs to start panicking if nothing changes.
Score: Syracuse 49, San Diego State 37
Brandon Triche is providing a lot of senior leadership for the Orange, while C.J. Fair has the most production of anyone on the court with 17 points and nine rebounds. One more board for a double-double.
Score: Syracuse 49, San Diego State 35
It's been a frustrating game for San Diego State, and it's starting to show. Steve Fisher needs to call a timeout to settle his guys down. There's no more time to waste for the Aztecs.
Score: Syracuse 47, San Diego State 33
Timeout with 11:55 left in the second half.
The Aztecs have failed to make up any ground in this second half, with the deficit remaining at 14. Now the team absolutely needs to string together a few baskets and stay tight on defense. It's a big margin, but it's certainly not insurmountable.
Score: Syracuse 45, San Diego State 31
That's how teams need to score today. Syracuse gets an easy two thanks to C.J. Fair's dunk. Both teams need to try to score inside off of assists.
Score: Syracuse 45, San Diego State 31
The wind is really hurting both teams in this game. Both teams have good offenses but it's not showing at all today.
Score: Syracuse 41, San Diego State 29
San Diego State's shooting has been abysmal this game. They're missing shots that they would normally make, but James Rahon finally hits the team's first three.
Score: Syracuse 41, San Diego State 28
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