College Basketball

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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
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
ORL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
PHI
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
7:00pm Tonight
AMER
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COPST
 
7:30pm Tonight
SCST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
CARK
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAMP
GWEBB
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
MDES
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
MCNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TAMCC
 
8:05pm Tonight
VALPO
UWMIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
SOUTH
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARKPB
PVU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
TEX
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32