Falcons Return Home to Face Nationally-Ranked Aztecs

    Junior Justin Hammonds
    Junior Justin Hammonds

    Jan. 11, 2014

    GAME #15
    Air Force Falcons vs. #13/15 San Diego State Aztecs
    Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014
    2 p.m. at USAFA, Colo.
    ESPN3

    Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    Live Stats | Watch Live on ESPN3

    SITE
    Location | USAFA, Colo.
    Arena | Clune Arena
    Capacity | 5,843

    RADIO
    Network | Air Force / IMG Radio Network
    Station | AM 740 KVOR, Colo. Spgs.
    Play-by-Play | Jim Arthur
    Analyst | Matt Pauley

    TELEVISION
    Live Video | ESPN3
    Play-by-Play | Ari Wolfe
    Analyst | Mark Adams

    LIVE STATS
    Gametracker | goairforcefalcons.com

    COACHES
    Dave Pilipovich (Thiel College, 1986)
      Air Force | 28-26, Third Season
      Overall | Same

    Steve Fisher (Illinois State, 1967)
      San Diego State | 294-172, 15th Season
      Overall | 478-254, 23rd Season

    ALL-TIME SERIES
    Overall | San Diego State leads 48-22
      At USAFA | San Diego State leads 17-15

    First Game | Dec. 8, 1973
      Result | San Diego State won 68-67

    Last Game | Mar. 6, 2013
      Result | San Diego State won 58-51

    Current Streak | San Diego State - 1

    Falcons Return Home to Face Nationally-Ranked Aztecs
     The Air Force men's basketball team returns home after two straight road games to take on the 13th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday, Jan. 12. Tip-off at Clune Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m. Air Force is 8-6 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West after dropping a 71-65 decision at Fresno State on Wednesday, while San Diego State is 13-1 and 2-0 after defeating Boise State 69-66 at home on Wednesday.

    Falcons 2-1 in League Play For Just Fourth Time Ever
     The Falcons have a 2-1 conference record for just the fourth time since starting league play in 1981. Air Force was 2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference in 1987 and in the Mountain West in 2006 and `08. The Falcons have had a 3-0 league record three times (2004, `05 and `07).

    All-Time Series vs. San Diego State
     San Diego State holds a 48-22 advantage, including a 17-15 mark at Clune Arena, against Air Force. The Falcons have won the last two meetings at the Academy, including a 70-67 victory last season. SDSU was ranked in the top 25 each of the last two years coming to Clune Arena. The Aztecs won the last meeting, 58-51, in San Diego on March 6, 2013.

    Air Force Looking for Fifth Win vs. Ranked Opponent
     Sunday's game will be the first against a ranked opponent for Air Force this season. The Falcons are
    just 4-79 against ranked opponents in program history, but three of those victories have come under Dave Pilipovich. The four victories came against No. 21 UTEP (75-72) on Feb. 15, 1992, No. 13/15 San Diego State (58-56) on Feb. 18, 2012, No. 22/20 San Diego State (70-67) on Feb. 2, 2013 and No. 12/11 New Mexico (89-88) on March 9, 2013. All four victories have been at Clune Arena.

    Falcons Win at UNLV For Just Second Time Ever
     Air Force's 75-68 victory at UNLV last Saturday was just the second win in 22 tries in Las Vegas. The only previous win over the Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center came on Jan. 25, 2006 (52-50).

    Home Sweet Home - In League Play
     With its 73-72 victory over Utah State on New Years Day, Air Force has now won eight of its last nine Mountain West games at Clune Arena. The Falcons went 7-1 at home in league play last season, the only loss coming to Colorado Stae (89-86). The last four MW games at Clune have been decided by a total of 11 points and the last two by one point apiece (AFA beat New Mexico 89-88 in last season's finale).

    Up Next
     The Falcons stay at home to face San Jose State on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.
     
    Falcons Win Fourth Straight Conference Opener
     The Falcons are now 10-24 all-time in conference openers after their 73-72 victory over Utah State on New Years Day. They were 2-17 in conference openers in their 19 years in the Western Athletic Conference, with the two victories coming against San Diego State (86-75) in 1986-87 and Colorado State (69-58) in 1992-93. Air Force is 8-7 in conference openers since the Mountain West began play in 1999. The Falcons have won four straight league openers.

    Air Force's Mountain West Openers:
    Date  Opponent  Result
    1/15/00  UNLV (H)  L, 98-73
    1/8/01  UNLV (A)  L, 65-54
    1/7/02  UNLV (H)  L, 66-54
    1/11/03  San Diego St. (H)  L, 63-48
    1/12/04  Colo. State (A)  W, 65-57
    1/8/05  Colo. State (H)  W, 58-53
    1/5/06  BYU (H)  W, 75-59
    1/3/07  Colo. State (A)  W, 81-75
    1/5/08  Utah (A)  L, 58-36
    1/3/09  San Diego St. (H)  L, 44-61
    1/6/10  TCU (A)  L, 50-59
    1/6/11  Utah (H)  W, 77-69
    1/14/12 Boise State (A) W, 74-59
    1/9/13 Nevada (H) W, 78-65
    1/1/14 Utah State (H) W, 73-72

    Third Straight Year Opened with a Newcomer
     For the third consecutive season, Air Force opened Mountain West play against a league newcomer. Two years ago, the Falcons defeated Boise State 74-59 in Boise and last year Air Force defeated Nevada 78-65 at Clune Arena. 

    Coggins Scores Most Points by a Sophomore Since `57
     Tre' Coggins' career-high 35 points on Nov. 14 against Jackson State were the fourth-most in one game by an Air Force sophomore in school history. The top three marks were set by Bob Beckel during the program's first season in 1956-57. Beckel had games of 48, 47 and 46 that season.
     Coggins' 35 points tied for No. 18 on Air Force's single-game scoring list, equalling point-totals by Otis Jones vs. Doane on Dec. 3, 1994 and Raymond Dudley vs. San Diego State on Feb. 4, 1989.

    Falcons Split Pair of Games at All-Military Classic
     The Air Force men's basketball team opened its 2013-14 season with a 1-1 record at the the third annual All-Military Classic last weekend at VMI in Lexington, Va. The Falcons rallied for a 79-68 victory over Army in the first round, then suffered their first-ever loss in the tournament to VMI, 71-63, in the championship game.
     Air Force sophomore Tre' Coggins was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 34 points in the two games, including a career-high 20 vs. Army. Junior co-captain Kamryn Williams posted the third double-double of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Army, while fellow junior Marek Olesinski notched career highs of 23 points and nine rebounds against VMI. 
     This is the third of the four-year deal for the tournament, with each school hosting once. Air Force hosted the first tournament in 2011 and The Citadel hosted last season. Army will host next year. The tournament is played each year during Veteran's Day weekend.

    All-Military Classic Results
    Friday, Nov. 8
    Air Force 79, Army 68
    VMI 82, Citadel 71

    Saturday, Nov. 9
    Army 84, The Citadel 69 (Third-Place Game)
    VMI 71, Air Force 63 (Championship Game)
     
    Most Points in a Half Since `99 
     Air Force's 62 points in the second half against South Dakota on Dec. 5 were the most in a half by a Falcon team since scoring 65 in the second half vs. Denver on Feb. 16, 1999.


    Williams Posts Career-high 11 Boards vs. Utah State
     Junior Kamryn Williams pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds last Wednesday against Utah State, the most boards in one game by a Falcon since Taylor Broekhuis had 12 against VMI on Nov. 12, 2011. Williams followed that performance with nine rebounds on Saturday against UNLV and his 20 rebounds in a two-game span are the most by a Falcon since Tom Bellairs collected 25 vs. UT-Pan American (12) and Wyoming (13) on Jan. 24 and 27, 2001.

    Yon Nets Career-High 24 vs. South Dakota 
     Junior Max Yon scored a career-high 24 points against South Dakota on Dec. 5. He was 8-of-18 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free-throw line against the Coyotes. It was Yon's second 20-point effort this season as he notched 22, all in the second half, against Jackson State on Nov. 14. He made a career-best six 3-pointers against JSU.

    Tale of Two Halves
     Including a 33-point increase (49-16) Wednesday against Fresno State, Air Force has scored 169 more points in the second half than the first half this season. The Falcons, who have trailed at halftime in eight of their 14 games this season, have scored 427 points in the first half and 596 in the second half so far this year.

    70 Points Seems to be the Key
     Air Force is 6-2 this season when it scored 70 points or more and 2-4 when scoring less than 70. Defensively speaking, the Falcons are 6-0 when allowing 70 points or less and 2-6 when allowing more than 70. The two victories when giving up more than 70 were against South Dakota (94-86) and Utah State (73-72).

    5 in Double Figures for First Time in Three Years
     Five Falcons scored in double figures against South Dakota on Dec. 5, the first time that has happened since Nov. 20, 2010 against Tennessee State. It also happened the next game against Western State on Dec. 9, marking the first time AFA had five players in double figures in consecutive games since the first two games of the `98-99 season.

    Hammonds Posts First Double-Double vs. Western State
     Junior forward Justin Hammonds posted the first double-double of his career on Dec. 9 with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds vs. Western State. Hammonds, who made his season debut on Nov. 14 against Jackson State after leaving the team over the summer to concentrate on academics, also tied his career high with four assists against the Mountaineers. Hammonds returned to the team on Nov. 12 and played 19 minutes vs. Jackson State. He then started the following game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 17.

    Lots of Free Shots vs. South Dakota
     The Falcons went 31-of-39 from the free-throw line on Dec. 5 against South Dakota, the most makes and attempts by an Air Force team since going 41-of-56 from the line against Navy on Nov. 28, 1998.

    Several Career Highs vs. Western State
     Freshmen Zach Kocur (15) and Hayden Graham (13) and junior Ethan Michael (5) each posted a career high for points on Dec. 9 against Western State. Additionally, juniors Justin Hammonds (10), Max Yon (9), Kocur (4), sophomore Zach Moer (3) and junior Scott Adler (2) had career-high rebound totals.

    Darrius Parker Makes First Career Start Count
     Freshman Darrius Parker made his first career start on Nov. 20 against Colorado Christian and scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds and dished out two assists against the Cougars.

    Big Personnel Losses
     Air Force entered the 2013-14 campaign without its top seven scorers (five players graduated, one left the program and junior DeLovell Earls was injured) and its top five rebounders (including Earls) from last season. Only 22.4 percent of the team's scoring and 40 percent of the rebounding returned this season. Air Force's starting lineup in the season opener vs. Army started zero games and averaged 12.7 points per game last season. In fact, the current Air Force roster entered this season with just 39 career starts (DeLovell Earls 22, Kamryn Williams 14, Justin Hammonds 3).

    Capt. Nick Welch Joins Staff as Assistant Coach
     Capt. Nick Welch joins the Falcon coaching staff in 2013-14. Previously, Welch spent four years at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana as an aircraft maintenance officer and two at Los Angeles Air Force Base as an acquisition program manager since his graduation from the Academy.
     Welch, who earned his bachelor's degree in economics in 2007, enjoyed a stellar basketball career with the Falcons. A four-year letterwinner, he is No. 14 on AFA's career scoring list with 1,109 points and 10th on the school's assist list with 255.

    Falcons Picked 10th in Media Poll 
     Air Force was picked 10th in the 2013-14 Mountain West preseason media poll:

    School (First Place Votes)  Pts.
    1. New Mexico (23) 263
    2. UNLV (1)  214
        Boise State  214
    4. San Diego State  212
    5. Utah State  156
    6. Colorado State  142
    7. Wyoming  112
    8. Fresno State  96
    9. Nevada  84
    10. Air Force  61
    11. San José State  30

     


     

     

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