Falcons Open Mtn. West Action vs. Utah State

    Justin Hammonds leads the Falcons in rebounding at 6.0 per game
    Justin Hammonds leads the Falcons in rebounding at 6.0 per game

    Dec. 30, 2013

    GAME #12
    Air Force Falcons vs. Utah State Aggies
    Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
    6:05 p.m. at USAFA, Colo.
    ROOT Sports

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    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
    Network | ROOT Sports
    (DirecTV - 683; Dish - 414; Comcast - 35 or 702)
    Play-by-Play | Jerry Schemmel
    Analyst | Dave Bollwinkel

    LIVE STATS
    Gametracker | goairforcefalcons.com

    COACHES
    Dave Pilipovich (Thiel College, 1986)
      Air Force | 26-25, Third Season
      Overall | Same

    Stew Morrill (Gonzaga, 1974)
      Utah State | 375-131, 16th Season
      Overall | 593-269, 28th Season

    ALL-TIME SERIES
      Overall | Utah State leads 10-2
      at USAFA | Utah State leads 3-2
     
      First Game | Feb. 15, 1963
      Result | Air Force won 66-65

      Last Game | Dec. 30, 2000
      Result | Utah State won 59-50

      Current Streak | Utah State - 8

    Falcons Open Mtn. West Action vs. Utah State on Wednesday
     The Air Force men’s basketball team opens the New Year with its Mountain West opener on Wednesday, Jan. 1 against the Utah State Aggies at Clune Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Air Force is 6-5 after losing at UC Davis 80-74 on Dec. 21, while Utah State is 10-2 after defeating San Diego Christian 84-53 at home last Saturday. The Aggies currently have a five-game winning streak.

    Conference Openers
     The Falcons are 9-24 all-time in conference openers. 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 7-7 in conference openers since the Mountain West began play in 1999. The Falcons, winners of three straight league openers, defeated Nevada 78-65 at Clune Arena in last season’s MW opener.

    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

    Third Straight Year Opening with a Newcomer
     For the third consecutive season, Air Force will open 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. 

    First Meeting in 13 Years Against Utah State
     This will be the 13th meeting between the two teams and the first since Dec. 30, 2000. Utah State holds a 10-2 advantage in the series and has won the last eight. Air Force’s last win came on Jan. 30, 1971, a 76-72 victory at the Academy. The teams first met on Feb. 15, 1963 (Air Force won 66-65).

    Up Next
     The Falcons travel to Las Vegas to battle UNLV on Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT).

    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).

    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)
     
    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.

    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.

    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.

    Tale of Two Halves
     Including the season-high 62-point effort in the second half against South Dakota on Dec. 5, Air Force has scored 148 more points in the second half than the first half this season. The Falcons, who have trailed at halftime in seven of their 11 games this season, have scored 331 points in the first half and 479 in the second half so far this year.

    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

    70 Points Seems to be the Key
     Air Force is 4-2 this season when it scored 70 points or more and 2-3 when scoring less than 70. Defensively speaking, the Falcons are 5-0 when allowing 70 points or less and 1-5 when allowing more than 70. The only victory when giving up more than 70 was against South Dakota (94-86).

    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.

    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.

    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.


     

     

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