Matt Mitchell scored 17 points and Malik Pope added 13 as San Diego State beat Air Force, 67-56, Wednesday night in a Mountain West men’s basketball game in Clune Arena at the Academy. The victory gives the Aztecs the season sweep over the Falcons.
San Diego State, who led 26-23 at the half, opened the second half with a 17-5 run to take a 43-28 lead with 15:06 remaining. Mitchell keyed the run with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. The Falcons cut the lead to eight, 50-42, with 9:55 left on a three by Caleb Morris, but were never able to get any closer. The Aztecs went on to lead by as many as 17 points from there.
San Diego State shot 48.1 percent from the field, including a 64.0 clip in the second half on 16-of-25 shooting. The Aztecs out-rebounded Air Force, 33-32, and held a 34-14 advantage in points in the paint. Jalen McDaniels added seven points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Aztecs, who had just 10 turnovers compared to 15 for Air Force.
The Falcons were led by Ryan Swan, who scored 11 points and had a team-best eight rebounds. CJ Siples added 10 points and four assists while Morris chipped in with nine points and career bests of seven rebounds and three 3-pointers. Trevor Lyons added a team-best seven assists. The Falcons hit just 39.6 percent from the field, but hit 36.1 from three and hit a season-best 13. The Falcons shot just two free throws compared to 15 for the Aztecs. Air Force’s first free throw came with 42 seconds left in the game.
Air Force falls to 10-16 overall and 4-10 in the conference. San Diego State improves to 16-10 and 8-7. Air Force remains at home and hosts Utah State Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. in Clune Arena.