SDSU vs. Air Force: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction
Following last week’s UNM loss and Wednesday’s shaky road win: can the Aztecs re-tool to sweep the Falcons in Colorado Springs?
The Aztecs are undefeated this season in away games; meanwhile, the Falcons will be looking for a fourth straight victory.
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 21st – 8:00p.m. MST / 10:00p.m. EST
WHERE: Clune Arena, Colorado Springs, CO (Capacity 6,002)
RADIO: San Diego Sports 760 / SiriusXM App ch. 968
SERIES RECORD: San Diego State and Air Force meet for the 88th time Saturday evening. The Aztecs own a 63-24 series advantage. The Aztecs have won the last seven.
LAST MEETING: The Aztecs bested the Falcons 71-55 at Viejas Arena during their conference play opener on December 28th, 2022.
ODDS: SDSU -9
San Diego, CA – The SDSU Aztecs (14-4, 5-1 MW) visit the Air Force Falcons (12-7, 3-3 MW) for game two of their in-conference series. In their first meeting the Aztecs easily handled the Falcons, but this time the Falcons have home court advantage. Meanwhile, while on the road the Aztecs barely escaped Colorado State with an overtime victory following a home loss.
Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. MST, and the Aztecs open as firm 9-point road favorites, as they seek an eighth straight win over Air Force.
Who will win? Let’s take a closer look.
Why The Falcons Will Win
The Air Force Falcons are looking for a fourth straight victory, after extending their winning streak to three games this past Tuesday after an 85-74 overtime win the Colorado State Rams, followed by a 51-48 win at the Fresno State Bulldogs and then a win against injury-riddled Wyoming. Against the Cowboys, Air Force produced 50 second-half points to overcome a four-point halftime deficit while shooting 52.8% from the field.
The Falcons went 10-for-25 from beyond the arc against Wyoming. They dished out 15 assists and committed just nine turnovers. Sophomore forward Beau Becker posted a career-high 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field, while freshman guard Rytis Petraitis put up 15 points, nine boards, and five assists.
Air Force is scoring 104.9 points per 100 possessions (162nd in the country) on 55.1% shooting from inside the arc (45th) and 36.6% from downtown (62nd). The Falcons are allowing 102.7 points in return (140th) on 48.9% shooting from inside the arc (169th) and 28.2% from beyond the arc (11th).
Why The Aztecs Will Win
The Aztecs barely avoided a second straight loss on Wednesday after ending their six-game winning streak last weekend with a 76-67 home loss against the New Mexico Lobos last Saturday. On Wednesday, SDSU took it to overtime to defeat the Colorado State Rams 82-76. The game was, in a word, underwhelming.
SDSU was 7-for-19 from the arc and an unimpressive 17-for-25 on free throws. The Aztecs managed 14 offensive boards and was 17/10 in assist-to-turnover ratio while forcing the Rams into 14 turnovers.
Lamont Butler has become increasingly comfortable in his scoring, and led the Aztecs with 19 points along with several assists and steals. Micah Parrish posted 15 points (5-5 in shooting off the bench), five boards, and three steals, while Matt Bradley solidly put up 14 points and seven assists.
What Will Happen
On December 28, the Aztecs led wire-to-wire as they decisively defeated the Falcons 71-55 in that first conference match. Matt Bradley was feeling it, and dropped 27 points on Air Force in that match.
The Falcons will have a great momentum, but it will be a tall order to overcome the Aztecs. Their defense may harass the Aztecs’ offense, but the Aztecs will do the same- only better.
The Aztecs are unbeaten this season on the road, and at least for now they will remain unbeaten during away games. The Falcons may not take the victory, but they will beat the spread once again.
Final Score: SDSU 74, Air Force 66