Air Force (15-9) at Boise State (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Taco Bell Arena (12,480) -- Boise, Idaho.
Television: None. Home Record: AF 11-2, BSU 10-1. Away Record: AF 3-6, BSU
4-7. Neutral Record: AF 1-1, BSU 2-0. Conference Record: AF 6-5, BSU 4-6.
Series Record: Series is tied, 2-2.
GAME NOTES: The Air Force Falcons try to bounce back from a disappointing
setback over the weekend, as they challenge the Boise State Broncos in
Mountain West Conference action at Taco Bell Arena on Wednesday.
The Falcons had just come off a 71-56 thrashing of UNLV at home three days
earlier and appeared to have their hooks into nationally-ranked Colorado State
at Clune Arena last Saturday as well, but the Academy could not hold on as it
bowed to the Rams in an 89-86 final. The setback for Air Force was the third
in the last four outings and dropped the group to 6-5 in league play with just
weeks remaining in the regular season.
As for the Broncos, a team which showed so much promise as it opened the
2012-13 campaign with 13 wins through the first 15 contests, the MWC slate has
been a different story altogether. Also clashing with a nationally-ranked
squad from the MWC, Boise took on New Mexico in The Pit last Saturday and was
sent packing following a 60-50 defeat. The loss was the second in three games
for BSU which is now two games under .500 (4-6) in conference play.
Air Force erupted for a 91-80 victory in the first meeting of the season at
Clune Arena last month, which means the series is now tied at two games
It was a masterful performance that just came up short, but still there is
plenty of great things to say about the 45 points Michael Lyons delivered
against Colorado State over the weekend. The output was the third-highest
scoring total in a Division I game this season and the third-highest MWC
regular-season total as well. Lyons sank 17-of-25 from the floor, his field
goals being the second-most in program history so it should come as little
surprise that he was named the MWC Player of the Week for his efforts.
Lyons, who also scored 27 points and handed out a season-high four assists in
the win over UNLV for the Falcons, is now averaging 19.2 ppg for a program
that is generating 72.5 ppg. Mike Fitzgerald checks in with another 10.2 ppg
and has combined with Lyons to clear more than eight rebounds per outing, but
still that can be a spot where the Falcons are exposed from time to time.
The Broncos certainly made things interesting against New Mexico on the road
over the weekend, but the visitors ended up shooting just 37.0 percent from
the floor, 5-of-20 beyond the arc and 5-of-10 at the free-throw line, and add
to that 17 turnovers and it was no wonder that BSU could not remain
competitive down the stretch. The only player scoring in double figures was
Derrick Marks with 19 points, adding seven rebounds to his line, while Kenny
Buckner cleared 11 rebounds off the bench, but there was no overcoming the 2-
of-10 shooting performance of Jeff Elorriaga who missed all but one of his
nine attempts on the outside.
In conference play, the Broncos have been knocked down a few pegs, scoring
only 66.4 ppg while giving up 70.6 ppg. Marks paces the group with his 17.4
ppg and is also first with 24 assists and 13 steals, but those just barely
cover his 33 turnovers in nine league bouts. Anthony Drmic may be just a 38.9
percent shooter, but he is also a threat to have a big game as he averages
Expecting Lyons to come back and have another massive game for the Falcons is
asking a lot, but to expect Air Force as a whole to have a strong game and
complete the season sweep versus Boise State may not be out of the question.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Air Force 77, Boise State 64
02/20 11:05:28 ET
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