10:00 PM ET, January 19, 2011
Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, San Diego, California
San Diego State senior D.J. Gay said BYU is always on his mind, but he isn't overlooking the next opponent, Air Force.Before next week's highly anticipated road trip to face their Mountain West rival, the sixth-ranked Aztecs will try to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 20 when they host the Falcons on Wednesday night.With Gay scoring a career-high 30 points, San Diego State (19-0, 4-0) claimed an 87-77 win Saturday at New Mexico, which had previously won 35 of 36 at home. The Aztecs have another daunting trip Jan. 26 to face No. 9 BYU but aren't looking past Air Force."BYU is always a thought, but we do have to focus on Air Force," Gay said. "They're a very tough team. They execute their offense and have a much better team this year."We can't underestimate anybody. When we play someone with a 19-0 record, they're going to give us their best shot, and we know that. When you go in cocky and arrogant, that's when most teams lose."San Diego State will try to head into its showdown in Provo, Utah, with its first 5-0 start to conference play as a Division I team. The Aztecs also are searching for their sixth straight win over the Falcons and sixth in a row at home.Gay has shot just 32.8 percent during that five-game win streak in the series, held to a combined 19 points in last season's two meetings. Still, San Diego State won both handily as Kawhi Leonard, currently the conference leader with 12 double-doubles, combined for 33 points and 14 rebounds.Leonard had a game-high 15 points in a 70-48 home win over Air Force on Feb. 2. Malcolm Thomas had 10 points and 12 rebounds in that victory, then had 18 and nine in a 61-42 road win over the Falcons on March 6.That Air Force team finished with 10 wins for the second straight season, but the Falcons already have matched that total this season.Scoring 67.3 points per game, Air Force (10-6, 1-2) is averaging 10.1 more than last season while playing its usual solid defense. The Falcons are second among Mountain West teams in field-goal percentage defense (39.1) and third in points allowed (63.8 per game).San Diego State is allowing an average of 59.1 points on 39.6 percent shooting.Despite its offensive improvement, Air Force is tied for last in the conference in scoring and recorded its season low for points in a 64-52 home loss to UNLV on Saturday.The Falcons led by five with 7:39 left but didn't score another point until 1:04 remained. They missed five shots and three 1-and-1 free-throw opportunities during that drought."I thought we put ourselves in position to win the game," coach Jeff Reynolds said. "Some of the things we've been doing really well lately we didn't do down the stretch. We missed free throws and missed two wide open 3-pointers."Leading scorer Michael Lyons (13.4 ppg) finished with 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting while junior forward Tom Fow had 12 as Air Force suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season. The Falcons lost 76-66 at BYU on Jan. 8 after earning their second MWC win in three seasons, 77-69 over Utah on Jan. 5.San Diego leads the series 44-20.
|Avg Points Allowed||64.2||58.9|
|Conference||Mountain West||Mountain West|
The 6th-ranked and 19-0 San Diego State Aztecs will look to extend their school record win streak to 20 games when they take the floor against Air Force on Wednesday night. The Aztecs will also be looking to reach the 20-win mark for the sixth straight season. Prior to this run, in their first 35 seasons as a Division I program (1970-71 through 2004-05), San Diego State managed just three 20-win seasons (20-9 in 1981-82, 23-8 in 1984-85 & 21-12 in 2001-02).
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