Dreadful offensive performance dooms Air Force at San Diego State

March 1, 2017 Updated: March 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm
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Air Force missed pretty much everything Wednesday, including a chance to end its dreadful road streak this season.

The Falcons posted one of their worst offensive performances in at least a decade and fell 51-38 at San Diego State. They have lost 22 consecutive Mountain West road games, completing their second straight season 0-9 on the road in league games.

Air Force (11-19, 4-13) shot 25 percent (11 of 44) from the field and made just 3 of 21 3-point attempts. It went more than 10 minutes without a field goal to close the first half.

The 13 first-half points were the fewest for the program since scoring 10 at BYU in 2013, and the 38 points matched the low last reached at UNLV in 2009.

"Their length and their width bothered us, obviously," coach Dave Pilipovich told KVOR 740 AM in his postgame interview.

San Diego State (17-12, 9-8) wasn't much better. The Aztecs needed 6 minutes, 15 seconds to hit their first shot and they finished 28.8 percent from the field.

Air Force led 13-7 midway through the first half thanks to the slow San Diego State start, and the game was tied 27-27 at one point in the second half as the Falcons did what was necessary defensively to give them a chance.

But the offense, from both sides, was brutal.

The 89 combined points were just one more than the low in NCAA Division I this year, and the combined 27 percent shooting narrowly edged the 26.4 percent futility mark by East Carolina and Central Florida this season.

Frank Toohey scored 12 points in 23 minutes to pace the Falcons. Jacob Van added 10 points and Hayden Graham had eight. Graham was limited to 29 minutes because of foul trouble. The Falcons outscored San Diego State by six points when Graham was on the floor.

Malik Pope led the Aztecs with 11 points, while Matt Shrigley contributed 10 points.

Since blowing out UNLV on Feb. 22, Air Force has been blitzed 89-58 at Utah State and then had this stinker of a performance that saw nearly as many possessions end in turnovers (15) as scores (16).

The Falcons return home on Saturday for the regular-season finale against Boise State.

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