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Air Force (12-17) vs. Fresno State (16-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: MWN. Home Record: Air Force 8-9, FSU 11-5. Away Record: Air Force 3-8, FSU 5-9. Neutral Record: Air Force 1-0, FSU 0-1. Conference Record: Air Force 6-12, FSU 9-9. Series Record: Fresno State leads, 12-5.

GAME NOTES: Shooting for back-to-back wins for the first time in more than two months, the Air Force Falcons give it their best shot when they match up against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the opening round of the 15th annual Mountain West Conference Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center.

As has become all too often the story for the Falcons, the 10th seed in this year's tournament, they performed well during the non-conference portion of the schedule but then struggled down the stretch. The team tallied just four wins since the second week of January and two of those were against San Jose State, a program which finished only 1-17 in conference.

Over the weekend, the Falcons did manage to snap a brief two-game slide with a 64-61 overtime victory versus Boise State, but still the team finished near the bottom of the league standings.

As for the seventh-seeded Bulldogs, they suffered through a stretch when they won only twice in 12 attempts, but they turned it around at the right time. Fresno State, which is one of the latest schools to join the MWC from the Western Athletic Conference, posted eight wins in the last 10 games of the regular season, generating positive momentum at just the right time.

The Bulldogs own a 12-5 advantage in the all-time series, sweeping the season series thanks to a 71-65 triumph at the Save Mart Center in California and a 68-51 blowout on the road at Clune Arena.

This is just the second year in this tournament for the Bulldogs, who lost in their first game a season ago. As for the Falcons, they've been here since it all began in 2000 and have a grand total of just two wins in 16 opportunities. Needless to say, Air Force has never come close to making it to the title game.

Whichever squad comes out on top this evening, it will have a quick turn- around as it goes up against second-seeded and nationally-ranked New Mexico in the quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Tre' Coggins was responsible for a team-best 15.9 ppg for the Falcons, knocking down a team-high 69 3-pointers, but you have to wonder how much better his numbers would have been had he not been suspended for disciplinary issues during one brief stretch. Despite being out of action for several games, Coggins was still recognized by the rest of the league as he found a spot on the All-MWC Third Team. Helping to carry some of the offensive load for Air Force was Max Yon with his 12.9 ppg, handing out a team-high 75 assists along the way. Providing the squad with some toughness along the front line were Marek Olesinski (10.7 ppg) and Kamryn Williams (10.3 ppg) as they combined to clear more than 11 rebounds per game.

Fresno State turned into one of the better offensive teams in the league once the squad put behind it some very shaky play, finishing with an average of 73.6 ppg. Tyler Johnson, a member of the All-MWC Second Team, led the way with 16.4 ppg, shooting 43.0 percent behind the 3-point line, not to mention pacing the group on the glass (7.4 rpg) and placing second with 85 assists. Marvelle Harris (15.1 ppg) also gave a strong effort on the glass with 5.6 rpg, but in the end the Bulldogs ranked last in the MWC with only 37.0 rpg allowed. Directing the FSU offense was Cezar Guerrero (13.2 ppg) with his 116 dishes, while Paul Watson (10.0 ppg) and Alex Davis tried to provide some support in the paint, but between the two they fouled out of 14 games. For his efforts, Watson was named the MWC Freshman of the Year.

The Bulldogs already have the book on how to shoot down the Falcons and when you add in the fact that historically, Air Force has had almost no success in this event, you can understand why FSU should be favored.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fresno State 67, Air Force 59

03/12 10:35:23 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
3rd
WISC 24
MD 0
 
3rd
SMU 7
MEM 34
 
3rd
ILL 21
MINN 10
 
3rd
RICE 17
UNT 21
 
3rd
NEB 28
RUTG 10
 
3rd
KST 13
TEX 0
 
3rd
ARK 38
UAB 3
 
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
2nd
EMICH 7
NILL 14
 
2nd
NAVY 14
SJST 10
 
1st
BST 3
AKR 0
 
1st
GASTATE 3
GASO 0
 
1st
TOL 0
UMASS 0
 
1st
WMICH 0
OHIO 0
 
1st
COL 0
UCLA 7
 
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0