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San Diego State dominates cold-shooting Air Force basketball

February 3, 2018 Updated: February 3, 2018 at 10:21 pm
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photo - Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich, left, confers with guard CJ Siples during a time out against New Mexico in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. New Mexico won 74-67. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich, left, confers with guard CJ Siples during a time out against New Mexico in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at Air Force Academy, Colo. New Mexico won 74-67. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) 

The ESPN crew called Air Force’s offense “abysmal.”

Radio broadcaster Jim Arthur said, among other things, that the Falcons were “leaking oil.”

You get the picture.

San Diego State dominated in all aspects in an 81-50 beatdown of the Falcons at Viejas Arena, its 13th consecutive home victory in the series.

Air Force (8-13, 2-7 Mountain West) shot just 32.8 percent – including 6 of 27 from 3-point range. Lavelle Scottie hit 8-of-13 shots en route to 16 points, but everyone else was just 12 of 48. The four-member senior class was particularly cold, going a collective 1 for 15.

The Falcons, with a week to prepare, never led and fell behind 35-21 at halftime as they shot 28 percent compared to San Diego State’s 50 percent over the first 20 minutes. The Aztecs (13-8, 5-5) hit their first five shots, each by a different player.

“I believe in the first 5 to 10 minutes we came out a little soft and they responded to that,” Scottie said in a postgame interview with Arthur on 740 KVOR. “It’s like in a fight. If you come out soft, you’re going to get knocked down.”

San Diego State had four players in double figures, led by Jalen McDaniels’ 16 points. With the Falcons clogging the lane to negate a size disadvantage inside, the Aztecs went 11 of 26 from 3-point range.

San Diego State blocked 10 shots compared to one for Air Force.

“They intimidated us with their size,” coach Dave Pilipovich said.

Pilipovich said much of what Air Force saw was what it expected and worked on repeatedly in practice, but it didn’t matter.

“When actual game moments came, we couldn’t adjust to it,” he said.

The silver lining for Air Force is that, in a season that has seen four weeklong breaks in action, there will be little time to let this one fester as Colorado State visits Clune Arena on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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