FACTS & STATS: Site: Viejas Arena (12,414) -- San Diego, California.
Television: Time Warner SN. Home Record: Air Force 12-2, SDSU 13-1. Away
Record: Air Force 3-8, SDSU 4-5. Neutral Record: Air Force 1-1, SDSU 3-2.
Conference Record: Air Force 7-7, SDSU 8-6. Series Record: San Diego State
GAME NOTES: With the Mountain West Conference Tournament just days away, the
Air Force Falcons and San Diego State Aztecs continue to jockey for final
seedings as they meet at Viejas Arena on Wednesday night.
San Diego State comes into the week with a record of 8-6 in conference play,
giving the team a chance for some upward mobility when it comes to the final
standings in the MWC. The Aztecs have been out of action now for a week, since
bowing to 14th-ranked New Mexico in The Pit last Wednesday, 70-60. The defeat
snapped a brief two-game win streak for SDSU.
As for the Falcons, they've hit a very rough patch in the schedule, bowing in
all but two of the last seven outings. Over the weekend the Academy was held
to just 41 points in a 15-point road loss at Fresno State, dropping the
Falcons to 7-7 in league play with this game and a meeting against New Mexico
this weekend remaining in the regular season.
Air Force stunned the Aztecs in the first meeting of the season early last
month with a 70-67 triumph at Clune Arena, but still it is SDSU that owns a
47-22 advantage in the all-time series. This time around the Aztecs will have
both Xavier Thames and Chase Tapley operating at full capacity after the
former missed all of the first meeting with a lower back strain, and the
latter was limited by a right wrist sprain.
The offense more than sputtered for the Falcons over the weekend, the team
shooting not just 27.9 percent from the field but also 4-of-20 behind the 3-
point line in the setback versus Fresno State at the Save Mart Center. Thanks
to a pair of 3-pointers, Mike Fitzgerald was able to score in double figures
for Air Force, finishing with 11 points. On a positive note, the Falcons did
hold the Bulldogs to only 37.5 percent shooting from the floor and 2-of-14 on
Currently second on the team in scoring with an even 10.0 ppg over the course
of 27 contests, Fitzgerald is shooting a solid 50.6 percent from the floor and
is also one of the better rebounders on the squad with four boards per outing.
Just ahead of Fitzgerald in both scoring and rebounding is Michael Lyons with
his 18.1 ppg and 4.1 rpg, picking up a significant portion of his points at
the free-throw line where he is 91-of-123 at the moment.
Both SDSU and the Lobos made a total of 21 field goals during their clash last
week, the difference being that the Aztecs took 14 more attempts from the
floor to make it happen as they bowed by double digits in Albuquerque. Jamaal
Franklin tried to carry the visitors with 16 points and nine rebounds, but he
shot only 3-of-13 from the field, including 1-of-7 beyond the arc where the
squad was a dismal 4-of-23 overall. JJ O'Brien pitched in with 10 points and
nine rebounds of his own as well.
A contender for MWC Player of the Year honors, Franklin leads the Aztecs in
not just scoring (17.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg) from his guard position,
he is also first with 85 assists and 41 steals, not to mention second in
blocked shots for the group with 23 over the course of his 27 appearances.
Because of the efforts of Franklin, the Aztecs are beating opponents on the
glass by almost four per contest and outscoring teams by close to 10 ppg per
outing as well, Tapley (13.4 ppg) is first on the unit with 58 made 3-
pointers, but the team as a whole is shooting just 33.4 percent out on the
With all of the key players ready to go in this meeting and there still being
some movement to be made in the conference standings, expect to see the Aztecs
put their best foot forward at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 77, Air Force 65