USAFA, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - The 13th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs take
their 12-game win streak on the road this afternoon, as they visit the Air
Force Falcons for a Mountain West Conference battle at Clune Arena.
An impressive 13-1 on the campaign, the only loss for SDSU came in the second
game of the season in a 69-60 setback to Arizona at home. The fact that the
Wildcats are now ranked first in the nation should go a long way in telling
just how strong the Aztecs are this season.
The most recent outing for San Diego State took place last Wednesday night at
home, and the club needed some quality play down the stretch to hold on for a
69-66 triumph over Boise State. The win streak for the Aztecs is the third-
longest in the 93 seasons they have been playing basketball.
As for the Falcons, they recently posted one of their biggest conference wins
in recent history, topping UNLV on the road at the Thomas & Mack Center,
75-68, last weekend. The victory was the second straight for the Academy in
league play, but then the Falcons ended up on the wrong side of a 71-65 final
versus Fresno State earlier this week.
San Diego State leads the all-time series by a count of 48-22, but the Aztecs
have not won at Clune Arena since 2011. The teams have split the season series
each of the last two years.
Perhaps most concerning for the Aztecs about their most recent game was the
fact that they almost had an 18-point lead completely slip away. Thankfully,
SDSU withstood a 14-4 run by the Broncos late in order to claim the win and
move to 2-0 in league action. Xavier Thames and Winston Shepard both tallied
16 points, while Josh Davis posted eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds,
but still the hosts were beaten on the glass by a 37-32 margin.
The starting lineup for the Aztecs has been featuring four forwards and just a
single guard, emphasizing effort on the glass which, outside of the meeting
with Boise State, generally favors SDSU by an average of 6.7 rpg. Davis is
ripping down 11.2 rpg and is always on the cusp of coming away with a double-
double as he produces 8.8 ppg. The leading scorers are just as they were
versus BSU, with Thames and Shepard putting up 16.2 and 13.2 ppg,
respectively, for a group that is generating 75.0 ppg.
Coming off such a huge win against the Runnin' Rebels, Air Force was bound to
come out a little flat against Fresno State, but no one could have predicted
just how cold the Falcons would be through the first 20 minutes of action. Air
Force fell behind immediately and converted a total of just five field goals
in the frame, en route to a 27-16 deficit at the break. The visitors responded
with 66.7 percent in the second half, but by then it was too little, too late.
Tre' Coggins scored 21 points, Max Yon 20, followed by Kamryn Williams and
Justin Hammonds who dropped in 12 and 10 points, respectively, with each also
clearing seven rebounds. As a unit, the Falcons actually beat Fresno State on
the glass, 35-29.
Historically a poor rebounding program, Air Force is actually topping
opponents by 2.2 rpg at the moment. That effort in the paint has allowed the
program to generate a scoring edge of 2.8 ppg as well, thanks to Coggins (17.0
ppg), Yon (14.0 ppg) and Marek Olesinski (12.2 ppg).
The Sports Network