Feb. 5, 2007
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Cox Arena (12,414), San Diego, Calif.
The Air Force Basketball Network. Locally on NewsRadio 740 KVOR in Colorado Springs. KVOR's Jim Arthur handles the play-by-play.
CSTV. Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Sean Farnham (analyst) call the action.
Air Force defeated Wyoming, 88-43, Saturday at Clune Arena. San Diego State downed TCU, 76-71, on Jan. 31 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Air Force is coached by Jeff Bzdelik (Illinois-Chicago, 1976), who is in his second season as head coach. Bzdelik returned to the college game last year after 15 seasons as a coach and scout in the NBA, most recently as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Bzdelik has a collegiate career record of 69-41, including a 44-10 mark at Air Force. Bzdelik was the head coach at UMBC for two years from 1986-88.
San Diego State is coached by Steve Fisher (Illinois State, 1967), who is in his eighth season with the Aztecs. He is 120-113 at the school and 304-195 in his career, spanning 16 years.
San Diego State leads the all-time series, 37-19. Air Force defeated the Aztecs, 56-51, earlier this season at Clune Arena behind a game-high 23 points from Jacob Burtschi.
Tied For First Place in Conference
Air Force improved to 7-2 in Mountain West Conference action and remains in a tie for first place after downing Wyoming, 88-43, Saturday at Clune Arena. The Falcons are tied with BYU atop the MWC standings.
20-3 Best Start Ever
Air Force's 19-3 record is the best start ever in program history after 23 games, bettering the team's record of 19-4 from 2003-04.
Still Top 20 in Both Polls
For the fifth straight week, the Falcons are in the Top 20 in both polls. AFA jumped three spots to No. 13 in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and two spots to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll.
Nearly Unbeatable at Clune
The Falcons have been close to unbeatable at Clune Arena the last four seasons. Including the final home game of the 2002-03 season (a 68-60 victory over New Mexico), Air Force has won 52 of its last 53 home games. The team was 13-0 in `03-04, 12-1 in `04-05 (lost to Utah, 65-56, on Feb. 19), 15-0 last season and is 11-0 this year.
AFA's 51-1 home record since the beginning of the 2003-04 season is the second-best in the country for winning percentage, behind Gonzaga (49-0).
In addition, the Falcons have won 27 of their last 28 MWC games at Clune Arena.
Air Force Tops MWC Last 3+ Years
Air Force has posted the best regular season MWC record since the beginning of the 2003-04 MWC schedule. AFA's conference regular season record is 40-13, eight games better than BYU (32-21).
Home Win Streak at 28
The Falcons have a 28-game winning streak at Clune Arena. The team's current home-court winning streak is the second-longest in the nation, behind Gonzaga.
The Falcons continue play in the Mountain West Conference on Saturday, Feb. 10 against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. Tip-off is at 3:30 p.m.
Burtschi Sets Career Steals Mark
With his two steals against Radford on Nov. 22, senior Jacob Burtschi became the all-time steals leader at Air Force. He currently has 174, 22 more than Raymond Dudley, who played from `86-90.
McCraw Takes Over 3-Pt% Lead
Seniors Dan Nwaelele and Matt McCraw are in a heated battle for the No. 1 spot on Air Force's career list for three-point percentage. McCraw barely holds the lead. He is shooting 47.3 percent (192-406) from behind the arc, while Nwaelele is at 46.7 percent (149-319). Third place on the list is Raymond Dudley, the school's career scoring leader, at 39.6 percent (285-720).
14 of Air Force's 20 victories this season have been by 10 points or more. The only single-digit wins were the 69-68 victory over Long Beach State at the CBE Classic and the first five MWC wins.
10 of the team's wins have been by more than 20 points and eight of those have been by 30+ points.
Non-Conference Home Streak at 31
With its 70-47 victory over Norfolk State on Wednesday, Dec. 13, Air Force has a 31-game winning streak at home against non-conference opponents.
The last loss at home to a non-Mountain West team at Clune Arena was against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 29, 2001 (64-44).
13 Tied Longest Winning Streak
Air Force's 13-game winning streak that was snapped on Jan. 16 at Utah tied the longest in school history. The Falcons rattled off 13 straight victories in 2003-04 before falling at UNLV on Feb. 2, 2004.
NCAA Record vs. Colorado College
Air Force held Division III Colorado College to an NCAA-record six points in the first half in the Falcons' 82-31 victory on Dec. 9.
The previous low for a half since the shot clock was introduced for the 1985-86 season was the seven scored by Central Michigan in trailing Ohio University by 28 points on Jan. 14, 2006.
Starters Shooting Lights Out
Four of Air Force's five starters are shooting at least 50 percent from the field this season. Forward Dan Nwaelele leads the team at 57.5 percent (115-200). Jacob Burtschi is second at 52.5% (114-217), followed by Tim Anderson at 51.9% (67-129) and Nick Welch at 50.6% (81-160). Matt McCraw is at 47.8% (76-159). The five starters as a group are shooting 53 percent (453-855).
First Loss in Over Two Months
Air Force's loss at Utah on Tuesday, Jan. 16 was the team's first loss since Nov. 20, when the Falcons dropped a 71-56 decision to Duke. The span of 57 days between losses ties the longest in program history, equalling the team's 13-game win streak in 2003-04 (Dec. 7 - Feb. 2) and the 12-game streak last season (Nov. 15 - Jan. 11).
Largest Crowd in Clune History
The largest crowd in the history of Clune Arena witnessed Air Force's dramatic 65-57 come-from-behind victory over New Mexico on Jan. 9. The official attendance of 6,511 surpassed the previous top crowd of 6,359 on Jan. 24, 2004 against BYU.
AFA in the Computer Rankings
The Falcons posted their highest rating ever in the Sagarin ratings on Jan. 8 at No. 5 and CollegeRPI on Jan. 14 at No. 6. Air Force is currently No. 14 in College RPI.com and No. 16 in the Sagarin (Feb. 5).
Welch, McCraw Join the 200-100 Club
With his steal on Dec. 13 against Norfolk State, Nick Welch became the ninth player in school history to record 200 assists and 100 steals in his career. Welch has 234 assists and 109 steals in his career. Matt McCraw joined the club with a pair of assists against BYU and has 204 assists and 115 steals.
Tied For Fifth with 20 Wins
The Falcons are tied for No. 5 in the country with 20 victories. Wisconsin and Butler lead the way with 22, followed by Florida and Nevada at 21. The Falcons are tied with Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Marquette, Ohio State, UCLS, Davidson and Virginia Commonwealth with 20 wins.
#1 in Nation for 30-Point Wins ...
Air Force leads the nation with eight victories of at least 30 points this season. Texas A&M is second with seven, while Notre Dame is third with six.
... And Outstanding in Close Games
Air Force has also been very strong in close games this season. The Falcons are 6-2 in games decided by 10 points or less and 5-1 in games decided by six points or less.
Seven Games in 12 Days!!
Air Force started the season playing seven games in 12 days, including four games in five days, culminating with its 83-59 victory over Radford on Nov. 22. Air Force was just one of three Division I teams (Winston-Salem College and Fairfield Univ.) to play seven games before Thanksgiving this season.
Air Force has made a three-point shot in 438 consecutive games. The last time the Falcons failed to make a three-pointer was Dec. 4, 1991 in a 57-51 victory over Adams State College.
Three Starters in Double Figures
Three of Air Force's five starters are averaging in double figures this season. Dan Nwaelele leads the way at 15.1 points per game, followed by Jacob Burtschi (14.2) and Matt McCraw (12.0). Nick Welch (9.6) and Tim Anderson (9.1) are just below the mark.
Second Time With 30-Point Wins
Air Force's 36-point victory at Stanford and 38-point win at Colorado marked just the second time in school history that the Falcons have won consecutive games by 30 points or more.
The first time was in the program's inaugural season of 1956-57, when AFA defeated Colorado College, 104-53, and Eastern New Mexico, 102-69. Both of those games were at home.
No. 3 in Nation in Shooting
The Falcons are ranked No. 3 in the country in field-goal percentage and three-point shooting and No. 6 in free-throw percentage in the latest NCAA Division I statistics (Feb. 5). Air Force is the only team in the country in the top 10 in those three categories.
Air Force is also ranked in the Top 10 in six other categories:
Falcons in National Stats
Senior Dan Nwaelele is 39th in field-goal percentage (57.5%) and 70th in free-throw percentage (83.3%) in the latest NCAA Division I statistics (Feb. 5).
Matt McCraw was ranked seventh in the country in three-point percentage (49.0 percent) and free-throw percentage (90.9 percent) in the previous rankings but fell below the national minimums for this ranking.
Burtschi Joins 1,000-Point Club
With his 21 points against Utah on Jan. 16, senior Jacob Burtschi became the 19th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. He currently has 1,059 points, No. 16 on the school's career scoring list.
Henke vs. Henke
Sophomore Andrew Henke faced his brother, Mitch, a junior at Santa Clara, in the championship game of the Cable Car Classic. Andrew scored a career-high 13 points in 27 minutes of action and was named the tournament's top sixth man. Mitch, meanwhile, did not score against the Falcons and played just four minutes after spraining his ankle on Dec. 23 against Utah State.
UNC Game Postponed
Due to extreme winter weather and travel complications, Air Force's game against Northern Colorado scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 23, was postponed. No make up date has been set.
Nwaelele Shares MWC Award
Senior Dan Nwaelele and Colorado State junior Jason Smith were named Mountain West Conference Men's Basketball Co-Players of the Week on Dec. 4.
A 6-5 forward from Bothell, Wash., Nwaelele averaged 18.5 points and four rebounds per game as the Falcons pushed their win streak to four games. Nwaelele contributed 11 points and five boards in a 94-58 rout of Wake Forest on Wednesday, then pumped in a career-high 26 points in a 78-66 win over IPFW on Saturday. Nwaelele was almost perfect against IPFW, making 6-of-7 from the field, including all three of his 3-point attempts, and was 11-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Third Place at CBE Classic
Air Force finished third at the 16-team College Basketball Experience Classic with a 67-53 victory over Texas Tech on Nov. 21 in the third-place game in Kansas City, Mo. Duke defeated the Falcons, 71-56, in the semifinals.
McCraw Named to All-Tourney Team
Senior Matt McCraw was named to the CBE Classic all-tournament team after scoring a season-high 18 points and grabbing a team-high six rebounds against Texas Tech in the third-place game. McCraw scored nine points in the semis vs. Duke.
CBE Classic Regional Champs
With its 79-45 victory over Stanford on Nov. 15, Air Force captured the Stanford Region of the CBE Classic and was the only non-home team to advance to the CBE Classic semifinals in Kansas City. Duke, Texas Tech and Marquette were the other teams at the tournament.
Burtschi Named Region MVP
Senior Jacob Burtschi was named the most valuable player for the Stanford Region of the CBE Classic. Burtschi averaged 23 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games, including a 24-point, 12-rebound performance against Stanford on Nov. 15, the third double-double of his career.
Cable Car Classic Champions
With Air Force's 78-48 victory over Santa Clara on Dec. 29, the Falcons claimed the title at the Cable Car Classic. The Falcons defeated George Washington, 66-52, in the first round on Thursday.
The tournament title was Air Force's third in program history. The Falcons captured the Evansville Invitational in 1972 and the Golden Bear Classic in 2003.
Air Force is 5-1 in tournament games this season after going 3-1 in the CBE Classic in November.
Burtschi Named Cable Car MVP
Senior Jacob Burtschi earned the most valubale player award at the Cable Car Classic after averaging 18.5 points and five rebounds in the two games. Seniors Dan Nwaelele and Matt McCraw were named to the all-tournament team and sophomore Andrew Henke was named the Classic's top sixth man.